The Hidden Potential of Your Attic
For many homeowners, the attic is a place to store unwanted furniture, old clothes, and bulky luggage. But for people who want to reduce their energy expenditure, extend the longevity of their roof, and cultivate a more comfortable home, the attic has a lot to offer. In fact, many new building codes now call for increased attic insulation and ventilation – emphasizing that a well-ventilated attic is essential in both cold and warm climates.
Ventilation is all about temperature control and consistency. In cold climates, attic ventilation is necessary for maintaining a warmer roof temperature – which is essential for venting condensation and preventing ice dams. In hot climates, ventilation is just as important for the opposite reason; keeping the attic space cool. If you live in a warmer climate, the best way to avoid problems like wasted energy, mold, and peeling paint is to install better attic insulation and ventilation.
Insulation Alone Is Not Enough
In warm climates, cooling a home to make it more comfortable uses a lot of energy. Proper insulation and sealing keeps the heat and humidity surrounding the property from entering the home. After all, in a hot climate, there’s a greater natural force driving warmth into your cool, dry home.
While proper insulation is important, without ventilation, the system is critically lacking. No matter how much extra insulation you add to an attic, heat can still seep into the adjacent rooms of your home. Proper attic ventilation cools temperatures by controlling the rise of heat through (and out of) your roof. Not only can proper ventilation remove excess heat build-up, but it also reduces the workload of your air conditioning system, saving you money on energy costs.
How Does Ventilation Work in Warm Climates?
Ventilation is a system of exhaust and intake mechanisms that create a steady flow of air around a property. In hot climates, ventilation expels hot air from the attic space – meaning it takes less work to keep the area cool. Proper attic ventilation is the solution for year-round benefits in all kinds of roofing systems – cooling attics in hotter weather, protecting against damage to structures and materials, and aiding in the reduction of energy consumption.
Many climate experts and handymen recommend that homeowners seek out proper ventilation to combat high levels of humidity and extreme heat. Without good ventilation, hot and humid climates can lead to a massive buildup of moisture and heat in the attic space, leading to various problems – including damage to roofing shingles and roof decking. Too much heat over time can actually warm or deteriorate the roofing materials prematurely, damaging your home.
The Benefits of Ventilation
The importance of proper attic ventilation can be summed up in two simple words: heat rises. If you live in a warm climate and go into your attic on even a mild day, you’ll likely find that it’s incredibly hot inside – more like a sauna than a room. That’s why roofing industry experts agree that maintaining a consistently cool temperature in your attic not only saves on energy costs, but can also extend the life of major components in your home.
A well-ventilated attic:
Reduces your energy costs – Air circulation removes hot air, preventing it from seeping into other rooms, and saving your AC units, refrigerators and other appliances from having to work harder. The reduced temperature in the attic will also assist the air conditioner by keeping internal air and ductwork cooler.
Extends the life of your roof and other components – When your attic heats up, the underlayment beneath the roof shingles warm up as well, and over time this will cause them to become brittle and ineffective. Lowering attic temperatures can save on the expense of premature replacement and repairs.
Removes harmful moisture – A hot climate with any level of humidity can result in a buildup of moisture within your attic space; and if the temperature begins to drop, that moisture will condense, which can cause a number of issues. Ventilation removes moisture, preventing dangerous mold and mildew in your home.
Proper attic ventilation facilitates the continual flow of air at a manageable temperature within a home, making a huge difference to the comfort level of the property and the people who live there.
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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