Your family will be healthier and more comfortable, and your home will be less expensive to cool and heat if you have adequate attic ventilation and insulation. Proper attic insulation will keep your home cooler on hot summer days and warmer on cold winter nights by inhibiting heat transfer between your attic and the living spaces below it. Effective ventilation, meanwhile, accomplishes two main things: it keeps your attic from overheating on hot days and it reduces the humidity in your attic that could lead to mold growth and structural damage. Although it is not an issue here in Central Florida, a well-ventilated attic also inhibits ice dam buildups on roofs in cold climates.
Steps for Proper Attic Insulation and Ventilation
Here are a few things to consider as you plan for providing adequate attic ventilation and insulation for your home:
- First, seal air leaks. Be sure that leaks between your living spaces and attic are sealed to prevent airflow between them. Seal openings where ducts, electrical wiring, plumbing stacks or chimneys penetrate the ceiling. Add weatherstripping to seal the hatch into your attic.
- Install or upgrade insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends attic insulation values up to R-60 for homes in our climate. You can install fiberglass batts or blown-in cellulose insulation to bring your attic up to the level of insulation you want. Be sure to use unfaced batts if you are adding fiberglass rolls over existing insulation. While you’re working in the attic, consider stapling or spraying on a radiant barrier beneath your roof decking to reflect the summer heat.
- Keep ventilation in mind. Do not block soffit vents with insulation. Staple insulation baffles to your roof decking between rafters to keep an airway open between the soffit vents and the ridge or gable vents. Do not cover recessed lighting fixtures with insulation in order to avoid fire danger. If you are blowing in insulation, install barriers along the wall top plate to keep insulation out of the soffits.
Call us at Bounds Heating & Air for tips on keeping your Gainesville area home comfortable and inexpensive to cool and heat all year long.