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Your Attic: Is it a Money and Energy Waster?

Your Attic: Is it a Money and Energy Waster?Do you have an attic in your San Diego home? If so, is it sealed, insulated, and ventilated? If it isn’t, this unassuming space may be wasting your heating and cooling dollars. Here’s why, and how to prevent it.

Your attic, at the top of your home, is part of your thermal envelope — the interface between your home’s temperature and the outside world. Direct sunlight on the roof during the hot summer months causes heat to radiate down into the attic, whose enclosed air can heat well beyond the outdoor air temperature. In turn, that heat can radiate down into the rest of your home, causing your air conditioner to work harder to keep you cool. During the winter, by contrast, warm air rises into your attic, where heat can bleed off into the cooler outdoors, or be lost through air leaks. In either case, you’re losing your energy dollars when this happens.

There are several different approaches to combating attic energy loss. Here are a few to consider:

  • Seal air leaks in your attic. If your attic space is rarely used, you may not pay much attention to whether or not it has a draft, but those gaps in wall and ceiling spaces can still cost you money.
  • Add insulation. Insulation isn’t just something that keeps you warm in cool weather — it slows heat transfer throughout the year, which means slower heat gain in summer. That might mean the heat transfer between your attic and the outside world, or between the rest of your house and the attic.
  • Add ventilation. San Diego’s hot summers can make attic spaces dangerously overheated. Even just pushing out the stale air and bringing fresh air in from outside can cool things down to a safe range.
  • Add a radiant barrier. These light-weight solutions deflect the heat of the sun — which can offer major benefits in Southern California’s climate.

If you want to discover how you can manage your attic space for greater savings and home comfort, call us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning today!

Improve Your Attic or Basement with These Tips

Improve Your Attic or Basement with These TipsFor maximizing home energy savings and comfort in summer, turn your attention to the basement and attic. These areas are common sources of energy loss and any improvements made will help you save money. Here are some tips.

Moisture Control

Basements and attics often suffer from high humidity. Any area of the home that remains damp will increase humidity throughout the rest of the home. This decreases comfort and makes your home feel warmer, which means your air conditioning costs will likely go up.

It also creates an opportunity for mold growth, and the problem won’t be confined only to these spaces. Air quality will suffer throughout the home as mold spores are easily airborne.

Check for roof leaks, damp areas and moldy insulation in your attic. Have the ventilation system checked to ensure there is appropriate airflow. This helps exhaust moisture and prevents heat buildup.

In the basement, fix all leaky plumbing pipes, but also check the walls for cracks, gaps or a damp, clammy feeling. You might need to have your basement moisture-sealed by a professional.

Sealing Air Leaks

Air leaks are a big source of energy loss in summer because they allow hot outdoor air into your home. The basement and attic are common areas for air leaks because of chimneys, entrance points for electricity and plumbing, and other structural breaches. Seal small leaks with caulk and seal larger air leaks with expandable foam or similar appropriate material.

Sealing Ducts

Ductwork is often routed through basements and unconditioned spaces such as attics. Leaky ductwork in either area can cause energy loss, but this is extreme in unconditioned spaces where hot air can enter ducts through gaps. Seal these with metal-backed tape.

Insulation

Attic insulation keeps the summer heat from radiating down through the ceiling. Have a contractor inspect your insulation to make sure it is in good condition, hasn’t shifted and that there is enough of it. Insufficient insulation is a top source of energy loss.

For additional expert tips or for help with energy-saving home improvement, please contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Artkwin/Shutterstock”

Proper Attic Insulation Can Help You Save Energy Year Round

Proper Attic Insulation Can Help You Save Energy Year RoundWhen your attic doesn’t have enough insulation, your home can lose heat. This causes your heating system to run more frequently, leading to higher energy bills. Not having enough attic insulation can also result in drafty areas, making your home uncomfortable. Use the following information to help you understand more about insulating your attic. Continue reading “Proper Attic Insulation Can Help You Save Energy Year Round” »

Can’t Take The Heat In Your Attic? Consider The Benefits Of An Attic Fan

Can't Take The Heat In Your Attic? Consider The Benefits Of An Attic FanAs the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” However, don’t let this be your mentality when it comes to your attic. If your home seems overly hot or humid, the culprit may be an excess buildup of heat in your attic. Proper ventilation is key to your overall home comfort, so you might want to consider installing and using an attic fan. Continue reading “Can’t Take The Heat In Your Attic? Consider The Benefits Of An Attic Fan” »