Tips For Upgrading Attic Insulation To Lower Your Home’s Cooling Load
One of the most neglected areas in home heating and cooling is the attic. Energy loss due to heat transfer through poor attic insulation can be as high as 25 percent. Considering that heating and cooling can account for up to 70 percent of all utility costs for a home, the energy loss can be substantial. Properly insulating your attic space will result in short term gains in energy savings and long term gains in extended heating and cooling system lifespan.
Florida attics are often quite small, but this doesn’t change the fact that insulating them will save you money. The typical poorly insulated attic space in Florida can reach temperatures in excess of 150 degrees within hours of sunrise. This heat is then travels into the living areas by radiant heat transfer. This process forces the air conditioning unit to work harder and longer to keep the home at a comfortable temperature.
The following tips can help you mitigate the heat transfer in your attic and keep your home cooler throughout the year without breaking your budget.
- Choose high R-value attic insulation. Spray foam is one of the best choices because it sticks to floor and ceiling joists without additional hardware. It can be sprayed on in a thin layer and you’ll get the same insulation value as several inches of traditional batting.
- Consider installing solar-powered attic vents. These vents don’t draw on the power grid, and work to circulate air through the attic to prevent excessive temperatures.
- Don’t install loose insulation or batting around recessed light boxes. These can get quite hot and lead to a fire.
- If you are performing the install yourself, wear protective equipment and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that R-values for total attic insulation be between R-30 and R-60 for homes in the Florida Suncoast.
For more expert advice about attic insulation and other issues related to home comfort, contact us at Symbiont Service Corp., the Florida Suncoast geo-thermal heating and cooling specialists.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Attic Insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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