One major step toward an energy-efficient home is to seal your attic, which eliminates unwanted air leaks (which lead to energy waste) and moisture (which leads to structural damage and diminished indoor air quality). To keep your attic dry and well-ventilated, consider these strategies:
STRATEGIES FOR WELL-VENTILATED ATTICS
- Installing proper ventilation. It may seem odd to ventilate the attic when you're trying to seal it up. But if your attic isn't strategically ventilated, moisture can't escape. The resulting condensation can lead to soaked insulation, mold growth or wood rot. To prevent moisture problems in your attic, install vents at the eaves and peaks to maximize cross-ventilation.
- Eliminating air leaks. Conditioned air shouldn't end up in your attic. Neither should humid air from your bathroom or kitchen. To prevent air and moisture leakage from inside the home, seal gaps, cracks and holes around wiring, plumbing and ductwork.
- Repairing roof leaks. If your roof is leaking, you’re at risk of water damage to your home and insulation -- with or without proper ventilation. Use flashing and other weatherproofing methods to seal moisture infiltrations before adding insulation.
- Adding insulation. Once air and moisture leakage have been addressed, additional insulation can be installed. Poor attic insulation lets heat escape in winter, increasing your heating costs. Remember not to block off vents!
With proper attic sealing, you’ll see a significant increase in the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, both in terms of comfort and energy consumption. You can maintain your energy savings by scheduling annual service and repair. In fact, a simple air conditioner tuneup can save you as much as 30 percent in cooling costs. Of course, if you’re running a system that’s more than 10 years old, a high-efficiency upgrade may be the best way to maximize household comfort and energy efficiency.
For more energy-efficiency strategies for your heating and cooling system, feel free to contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling today.
Photo credit: Vagabond