Many Cleveland area homeowners try to save on their air conditioning bills in the summer. One way is to keep the hot air in the attic from heating up your home.
Insulate Your Attic
Heat in our homes rises and the sun beats on the roof during the summer, making an attic feel as hot as an oven. An overheated attic can even shorten the life of some roofing materials. Adding a layer of insulation to your attic floor can keep that heat from radiating down into your living areas. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends an insulation value of R-49 for attics in northeast Ohio. This equals 15.5” inches of rolled fiberglass batting or 13” inches of loose cellulose insulation. Coupled with proper ventilation of the attic, insulation can keep the heat of your attic out of your home.
Check Your Ductwork
If you have ductwork that runs through your attic, it is very important to make sure it is sealed and insulated. Unsealed ductwork can allow cool air to leak into the attic while your air conditioner works overtime to keep your living areas cool. Insulating the ductwork keeps the air passing through exposed ductwork from being heated up by the hot attic.
Install an Attic Fan
Another solution some homeowners try is an attic fan. These units are designed to push the heated attic air out of your home while drawing in cooler, outdoor air. Unfortunately we have seen some homes without enough outside ventilation openings for the fan to pull air in easily from the outside. Instead, cooled air is drawn from inside the home up through can lights or other attic openings. This causes the air conditioner to run longer to re-cool the air in the home. If you use an attic fan, a home performance assessment can determine if air is being drawn into your attic from your living areas. If so, additional ventilation is needed.
Add Reflective Materials
Some homeowners are installing reflective materials in their attics to keep solar radiation from radiating into their homes. While not as common (or generally necessary) in the greater Cleveland area, reflective sheeting and even paint with reflective properties have been developed to help keep attics from getting too hot.
Homeowners today have many attic cooling options. For more information, contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving northeast Ohio homeowners since 1936.
Kim Nemecek works at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. After growing up in Cleveland, she lived in Florida for many years, working at an air conditioning company there. Kim has four grown children, two grandchildren and two spoiled dogs. She lives in Solon with her husband, Todd.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.