Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

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 Plumbing, Heating & Air today!