Keeping Home Cool in the Summer Months
Published on June 27, 2018
One of your biggest challenges as a homeowner is keeping your home cool during the summer months while controlling skyrocketing electric bills. Air conditioning units that run constantly will increase energy consumption and will eventually break down earlier than expected. The most effective way to keeping your home comfortable during the warmer season is to make sure your home has proper and effective ventilation systems in place in different parts of the home. Proper and efficient attic ventilation keeps your home cool, reduces energy bills and repair and maintenance for the cooling system.
Ways to keep your attic cool in the summer
Warm air rises so naturally spaces like the attic can increase in temperature if not cooled or ventilated properly. Attic ventilation keeps your home cool, and homeowners have turned to these tried and true methods for controlling the temperature in the upper most part of the home:
- Fans - Properly insulated attics are designed to ventilate warmer air that rises in the home and installing an electric fan in the attic will enhance air movement within the space and will provide for quicker air exchanges pusing hot stale air back to the outside. Similar to bathroom exhaust fans, attic fans are activated by a wall mounted switch and higher tech systems can be connected to local humidistats and thermostats that automates fan activation. If you use a fan system in your attic, make sure to check filters and grills regularly and fully functioning attic insulation is critical to the proper operation of attic fans.
- Air Conditioning - Larger and more functional attics may benefit from an independent air conditioning system to keep the space cool. Window mounted units and portable systems will compliment your home’s central AC system and will bring the overall temperature of the attic to more comfortable levels. A top down cooling effect will help maintain the home’s ambient temperature more efficiently.
You have options for keeping your attic cool in the warmer months
Your home was likely constructed with an empty space above the top floor that could be in the form of an attic or crawlspace. This area above the living space plays an important part in your home's ability to stay cool during the summer months by ventilating warmer air that rises to the top. Attic ventilation keeps your home cool, and maintaining the systems in place is necessary for efficient use of energy and continuous comfort:
- Natural venting - Attics are constructed with vents to allow naturally rising warm air to escape. Some systems use framed slats that open as air pushes through. Because of their location on the roof, these vents are constantly exposed to elements and slats could easily become clogged or stuck. Checking and cleaning roof vents should be part of any spring clean up. Another type of vent has a dome shape that covers open slots from the elements. These small slot type vents also require yearly maintenance and cleaning. Depending on your home's position in sunlight and other factor, you may want to consider to adding more vents than the original construction provides to increase the air exchanging ability of the attic.
- Fan venting - Some larger attics that may serve as additional living space may need some help in pushing out warm stale air. One or more fans can be installed along the ceiling of the attic to force warm air out through exhaust pipes connected to the fan. Because of various roof designs, you or your contractor may need to be creative when it comes to ductwork and exhaust tubes. Attics that provide living spaces would benefit from ceiling type fans that provide better aesthetics and functionality. The large blades of ceiling fans and the ability to precisely control speed and direction can move air around quickly and effectively maintaining comfort in the attic.
- Attic insulation - Most attics are rooms with wood frames which require insulation to manage air flow. Old and broken insulation may allow air to escape freely or also restrict airflow all together. Air conditioners will have to work extra time to maintain a comfortable temperature if large air loss occurs in the top part of the house. Restricted air flow can also create a buildup of heat in the attic that causes more wear and tear on the cooling system as well as increased energy consumption costs.
There are so many variables to consider when optimizing the cooling of your home. Professional home comfort experts like EcoComfort have extensive expertise in residential cooling and comfort and can thoroughly assess your home's unique situation and recommend the most appropriate and economical ways to keep your home cool during the summer.
Why is your attic so hot?
When it comes to increased temperatures, the attic is your home’s literal hotspot for inefficiency. The attic’s position atop the home creates a two pronged challenge where warmer air naturally rises and collects in the attic and radiant heat from the sun constantly beats down on the roof creating excess heat that makes its way into the attic. When building the home, designers take into consideration that attic ventilation keeps your home cool, and some sort of venting system would have been installed. The remote location of these vents on the roof may mean a lack of maintenance. Non working or clogged vents would contribute to a excess heat situation in your attic. Insulation is another key factor proper and efficient attic ventilation. Broken and missing insulation media can put your home’s temperature and comfort way out of balance.
How hot can the attic get?
Proper and functioning attic ventilation keeps your home cool, and any issues with air flow can severely restrict the exchange of warmer air from the lower parts of the house. Combined with constant exposure to the sun radiant heat, it is not uncommon for attics to reach temperatures of 150 degrees fahrenheit during the summer months. Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home would be virtually impossible and your cooling system will experience extended wear and tear.
Attic ventilation keeps your home cool and efficient
Summer temperatures continue to increase and keeping your home comfortable during the warmer season continues to be a challenge in both efficiency and cost. Improper air flow can make your home’s air conditioning system work inefficiently. The experts at EcoComfort understand residential cooling and have the latest solutions to improve your home’s environment. Attic ventilation keeps your home cool and is a key component in maintaining a constant temperature. EcoComfort has the residential expertise and the latest resources to ensure your attic is properly ventilated and your entire home comfortable. Contact EcoComfort today for an assessment on your home’s cooling ability and efficiency.