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 Unfortunately, old or outdated attics contribute to homes that struggle to keep up with thermostat demands, pest issues, polluted air in the air ducts, and moisture control.
The following seven attic updates will improve your home’s energy efficiency while simultaneously supporting whole-home comfort and improved indoor air quality.
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.
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.
The attic inspection also highlights whether or not insulation needs updating or replacement. There are several things we look for:
Read Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Attic Insulation to determine whether it’s time to give your attic insulation a makeover.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.