Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Attic Ventilation is Especially Important in the Summer Months

Attic Ventilation is Especially Important in the Summer Months

Attic ventilation is important at all times of the year. Many homeowners often think that attic
insulation is the most important part of keeping their home cool. While the insulation in your
attic is important to help keep your property warmer in the cold winter months and cooler in the
hot months of summer, attic ventilation plays an extremely important role too.

What is attic ventilation and how does it work?

Attic ventilation really isn't rocket science, but it's surprising how misunderstood the concept
actually is - by property owners and even some builders and construction companies. Many people believe that the purpose of attic ventilation is to let out the hot air which builds up in the
summer. While this is definitely part of the benefit of attic ventilation, it certainly isn't the
whole story - not by a long shot.
·        In the warm summer months adequate attic ventilation will help to keep your attic nice and cool.

·        In the colder winter months an attic with adequate and correct ventilation will be kept
drier and free from moisture - the ventilation also helps to reduce the development if ice dams.

·        Attic ventilation makes your property more comfortable, protects against structural damage and helps to reduce your energy consumption and energy bills, whatever time of the year. More comfort for fewer dollars - what could be better?

Why is Attic Ventilation Especially Important in the Summer Months?

You probably notice that the upstairs rooms in your property feel warmer in the hot summer months. Cast your mind back to physics class - the lighter, hot air rises as the denser, cooler air falls (remember that?) - and while it is true, this is only part of the story. The knowledge that heat rises is a good start, but there is much more to it than that. For example, there's also the downward migration of the summer heat.
Picture a hot, summers day - they will be here before you know it. So, what happens on a hot summer's day? The radiant heat generated by the sun pushes down onto the roof and causes the materials in the roof to heat up, which conducts the heat as it travels through the roof and down into the attic area of the house. As the temperature in the attic rises, this heat is radiated through the floor of the attic and into the upper rooms of the property, and so it goes on . . . The downward migration of the heat - which all started from the sunshine pouring onto the roof.

So how does attic ventilation help?

Take a look at the differences between a typical temperature of a home which does not have attic ventilation and the corresponding temperatures of a property which does.
If the outdoor summer temperature is 90 deg F (equivalent to 32 deg C):

·        The roof sheath temperature could rise as high as an incredible 170 deg F (77 deg C)

·        The temperature of the attic floor could be as high as 140 deg F (60 deg C)

·        The temperature in the rooms below is, at best, extremely uncomfortable and, at worst,

While we can all put up with a little discomfort occasionally the problem is compounded during the summer when one hot day follows another, and another, and another. . . The temperature in the property can soon become unbearable if the property does not have adequate attic ventilation.

If your attic does not have ventilation, or inadequate ventilation, then the heat which has been accumulated during the day will not be able to be lost during the night, and a well-insulated property can actually exaggerate the problem. A well ventilated attic will be able to dissipate the extra heat during the cooler hours of darkness and stand prepared for the following morning's sunshine.

So what can a homeowner do in this sort of situation? Of course, the immediate reaction is to try some cooling solutions such as switching on fans and air conditioning systems. However, the hotter it gets the more energy is consumed trying to keep cool and comfortable.

Properties without adequate attic ventilation are opened up to other sorts of problems too. For example, you may not immediately be able to notice what's happening on the roof, but it will be happening just the same. The prolonged and excessive heat in the roof materials can cause all sorts of deterioration problems, such as weakening and distortion, which can even lead to a leaking roof over time.

Remember that the price of replacing or repairing a roof is much more costly than making sure that your property has sufficient attic ventilation. While it is important to have attic insulation, there needs to be a direct correlation between the amount of insulation you have in the attic and the amount of ventilation that is available. An
insulated attic will hold on to even more heat than an uninsulated attic, which increases the necessity for attic ventilation. The solution to this problem is certainly not to reduce the
amount of insulation in your attic - it is simply to balance the equation with adequate attic

Whereas ventilation in the attic cannot help to prevent heat from transferring from the roof of the property into the attic, it can significantly minimize the detrimental effects. Well placed and fitted ventilation will provide cooler air in a flow on the underside of the sheathing of the roof. This air flow will effectively take the heat away before it has the chance to radiate onto the floor of the attic. You must ensure that there is a uniform flow of cooler air to prevent hot spots from developing, which can ultimately reduce the effectiveness of your attic ventilation.

Make sure that your attic ventilation is adequate before the hot summer months arrive, and you'll not only feel more comfortable but also save a significant amount on your energy bills - a real win/win situation for everybody.

Chase Insulation began originally as an Austin insulation company. Over time we have grown to provide a vast array of home insulation and attic ventilation solutions to a diverse clientele. For new construction, home improvement or remodeling an existing building, we provide energy-saving attic insulation solutions backed by quality workmanship. See how Chase Insulation can help you by visiting

Posted By: Blackstock Electric

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