At the end of the day, basic thermodynamics states that warm air rises, and cool air falls. So no matter how well your walls are secured and insulated, the roof is always a major factor in heating and energy costs. Most homeowners simply aren’t sure of the percentage of heat loss through roofing that occurs in their homes. While you can have a professional come out to inspect your home for you, sometimes it’s best just to secure the attic with proper insulation.
“I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.” - Arthur Conan Doyle
The Different Kinds of Insulation
Making sure that your attic is properly insulated is important in keeping your energy bills down. And you have quite a few ways to go about doing just that. The choice you make will generally be whatever material best fits the inside of your attic walls. Visit energy.gov to learn more, but essentially it boils down into these three types of insulation.
- Fiberglass Batts - certainly the most common form of installation, the fiberglass batts are usually pink and fuzzy in appearance, and made to fit within the framework of your attic
- Blown-in Insulation - with the use of industrial grade equipment, this type of insulation is literally blown in through a tube and made to fill in all the nooks and crannies of an attic or crawlspace
- Spray Foam - generally reserved for odd jobs and old window sills, sometimes this can even be applied to attics that have seen recent repairs
The Attic Fan
Ventilating your attic is key in keeping energy costs down. An attic fan can certainly help maintain the proper temperatures both for your attic and for the rest of your home. Ventilation fans are mounted to the exterior wall of your attic. Once installed, it blows warm air out of the roof, keeping cooling costs down.
Make sure to have a professional install it, as an improperly installed fan could actually blow too much warm air out, thus increasing your cooling costs. Besides attic fans, there are only a few other ways to moderate your roof’s energy dispersal, such as:
- Power vents
- Whole home fans
- Ridge vents
- Programmable thermostat
Keeping Your Crawl Space Insulated
A crawl space is an often overlooked part of the home that also must be insulated to cut down on heating costs. Unlike attic fan installation, the crawl space is less about heat control and more about gap control. So this is where spray foam insulation really shines. Be sure to hit these problem areas (if applicable):
- Old brickwork
- Cracks in foundation
- Around cables
- Around piping
Heating and Cooling
Because the attic fan regulates temperature in your attic, this provides energy saving both in warm and cold months. During hot summer days, most of the hot air will flow out the vent, thus making it easier to cool your home. During winter, the fan keeps the warm air from spilling out too quickly, trapping it in your home and staying in the house. So you can bet on year round savings with an attic fan.
Cutting Down on Ice Dams
Another benefit to attic fan installation is that if you live in a region where ice dams are prevalent, it can save you hundreds in terms of property damage. An attic fan will regulate the heat in your roof, making it harder for ice dams to form in the first place. Moreover, proper insulation will prevent moisture from forming, which can cause mold or mildew. An attic fan coupled with insulation stops the problems before they even start. This can prevent substantial damage to your home.
But enough about our recommendations, it’s time to get to it! Start by calling a professional contractor for a free quote and ideas and suggestions. Or visit homeyou to see more ideas. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for the latest tips and suggestions.
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