7 Tips To Make Your Attic More Efficient

07/29/2021 | By Pamela Vargas-Touchard | |

Just as hats help to insulate your head and regulate body temperature, a home’s attic plays a crucial role in both whole-home energy efficiency, comfort, and healthy air quality. Unfortunately, old or outdated attics contribute to homes that struggle to keep up with thermostat demands, pest issues, polluted air in the air ducts, and moisture control

7 Attic Updates To Improve Whole-Home Energy Efficiency 

The following seven attic updates will improve your home’s energy efficiency while simultaneously supporting whole-home comfort and improved indoor air quality. 

Schedule an energy audit with an attic professional 

Insulation contractors are attic specialists. Scheduling a professional attic inspection is the best way to see what needs to be improved. The key is to hire a licensed, local insulation contractor who has a reputation for honesty and competitive pricing. You don’t want to be upsold on services or products you don’t need.  

You also want a contractor that is well-connected in the area. That way, he can refer you to reputable contractors to address non-insulation-related repairs, like roof repairs, plumbing, or electrical work to be repaired simultaneously. 

Air sealing can help make your attic more efficient

The weatherstripping and seals around windows, roof edges, exterior walls, and penetrations wear down over time. Any cracks, leaks, or gaps in these areas allow cool air to escape from your home during the hot months, while your heater-warmed air escapes during the cooler months. 

In addition to drafts and fluctuating temperatures, air leaks cause the HVAC to work overtime as it struggles to honor thermostat temperatures. Once you seal air leaks and eliminate drafts, and the HVAC runs more efficiently. Since heating and cooling accounts for roughly 50% of energy spending, any reduction in HVAC use translates directly into savings

Insulation update or replacement 

The attic inspection also highlights whether or not insulation needs updating or replacement. There are several things we look for: 

  • Insulation quantity. Is there enough? Older homes often have misplaced, missing, damaged, or flattened insulation. Adding extra batts may be all that’s required to provide sufficient insulation again. 
  • Efficiency quality. Does your insulation meet current energy guidelines? Bay Area building codes have some of the most stringent requirements for making the attic more efficient via insulation. They adhere to the government’s Energy Star recommendations
  • Is it damaged? Everything from historical leaks, chronic moisture damage, irresponsible subcontractors, and pest infestations cause insulation damage. Again, depending on the nature of the damage, we may add more insulation to make up the difference, or we may recommend a complete insulation replacement. 
  • Is it toxic? If you live in one of our Bay Area’s beautiful historic homes, and it hasn’t been remodeled in a few decades, the insulation could be toxic. If that is the case, replace it ASAP to prevent the health and safety risks posed by  

Read Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Attic Insulation to determine whether it’s time to give your attic insulation a makeover. 

Repair or replace roofing materials 

Solar heat gain exponentially contributes to home comfort during the summer months. Without suitable roofing materials and insulation, an older, unventilated attic can reach 150 degrees F or higher. All that heat transfers directly into the living spaces below. Leaky roofs also pose a problem because they lead to moisture issues, elevated humidity, and the potential for mold and mildew growth, which compromises indoor air quality. 

Reflective roofing materials make a tremendous difference. As long as you plan to inspect and update the attic, we recommend scheduling an inspection with a roofing contractor, too. We are happy to refer you to one of several reputable roofers here in the Bay Area. 

Update ventilation 

Roofing, insulation, and ventilation are the attic trifecta when it comes to comfort and energy savings. Attic ventilation moves hot, humid air out while allowing fresh air to circulate back in, reducing the level of indoor air pollution in your home. Ventilation also plays a key role in the home’s moisture/humidity control system

Typically, attic ventilation is part of the roofing system. However, attic and insulation specialists can add after-market options if it turns out your attic is inadequately ventilated. Options include intake vents, exhaust fans, ridge vents, static vents, and solar-powered vents. 

Pest eradication, prevention, and clean-up 

Many people consider rat and other rodent droppings as par for the course in the attic. This is not the case. Any evidence of rodents, pests, or other invaders (like mold and mildew) should be addressed immediately. In addition to chewing and making next in insulation, continuous build-up of excrement, and potential structural damage pests pose health concerns via diseases and waste-product fumes that travel through the ducts and permeate through walls. 

Hiring a company experienced in rodent solutions is the best way to eliminate existing infestations, prevent rodents from getting access to the attic in the future, and completely clean and sanitize the attic. 

Clean, repair, and replace the air ducts 

When is the last time your HVAC air ducts were cleaned or inspected? If you’re like most Bay Area homeowners, the answer is, “not since the day the HVAC contractor finished the job.” Cleaning the ducts every few years keeps them free of dust, mold spores, pollen, and other particulate matter that gets into the forced air systems and compromises indoor air quality.  

Ducts can also separate at the seams, segments come apart, or the insulation comes undone (assuming they’re insulated at all; they might not be if you live in an older home). These issues are repaired at the same time. Visit 7 Signs You Need Air Duct Repair to see if it’s time for your ducts to get a spruce up. 

We Can Help Make Your Attic More Efficient

Is your attic long overdue for an inspection and updates? Schedule an inspection with Attic Solutions, (510) 500-5007, and one of our experienced contractors will let you know what’s needed to make your attic more efficient. 

phone-handsetmap-markercrossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram