Friday, July 12, 2013

Energy Saving Tips for Your Attic

Energy Saving Tips for Your Attic

The attic is one of the places where you often find the biggest air leaks, which can increase your energy bills and make you uncomfortably hot in summer and cold in winter. It is also a place that is generally accessible, making it easier to air seal and insulate to improve your home's comfort and overall energy performance.

Attic Ventilation

Attic Before Renovation
Proper ventilation of the attic with natural air flow keeps the roof deck cool and dry, extending the life of roof shingles and preventing ice dams without using the energy needed to run an attic vent fan. Be sure attic soffit vents and gable vents are not blocked so air flows freely through them. Some homes have ridge vents or vents through the roof deck instead of gable vents. Learn more in the DIY Guide to Sealing and Insulating with ENERGY STAR.


Look for holes, tears, and other signs of leaking ducts and seal them using mastic or metal (foil) tape (never use 'duct tape,' as it is not long-lasting). Insulate all the ducts you can access (such as those in the attic, crawlspace, unfinished basement, or garage).

Ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems. In typical houses, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. The result is an inefficient HVAC system, high utility bills, and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set. See our Duct Sealing brochure PDF (1.3MB) for more information on steps you can take to improve your home's duct system.

Attic Hatch or Door

Attic After Renovation by Incredible Renovations, Houston, TX
Weather strip and insulate your home's attic hatch or door to help keep your home more comfortable and save energy. You can do this with weatherizing materials and insulation or with a pre-made attic cover available from local home improvement centers and on the web.

The exterior of your home — the outer walls, ceiling, windows, and floor — is called the "envelope" or "shell." Sealing and insulating — done by a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor — can save more than $200 a year in heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on total annual energy bills). It will also make your home more comfortable and help your heating and cooling system run more efficiently. If your attic is accessible and you like home improvement projects, you can Do-It-Yourself with help from our DIY Guide to Sealing and Insulating with ENERGY STAR, which offers step-by-step instructions for sealing common air leaks and adding insulation to the attic.

 You can also hire a contractor who can use special diagnostic tools to pinpoint and seal the hidden air leaks in your home before adding insulation. To get the biggest savings, the easiest place to add insulation is usually in the attic. A quick way to see if you need more insulation is to look across your uncovered attic floor. If your insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more. The recommended insulation level for most attics is R-38 (or about 12–15 inches, depending on the insulation type). In the coldest climates, insulating up to R-49 is recommended.

More Information:

Information regarding Attic Conversions:


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