If you are experiencing unusually large energy bills, the answer may very well be above your ceiling. Attics that are poorly ventilated can get up to 30 degrees hotter than well ventilated ones. The hotter the attic, the harder your air conditioner has to work to maintain the interior temperature of your home – making your more uncomfortable while driving up your energy bill.
How to Improve Attic Ventilation
- Install or beef up insulation. Insulation is a barrier designed to keep the air inside the house from migrating upward. If insulation is missing, faulty or insufficient, attic fans suck the air conditioned air up into the attic, making your AC unit work harder. Make sure you have at least 12 inches of insulation.
- Clear soffit vents. Soffit vents are intake vents in the eaves of your house that pull in cool outside air and help push hot air outside. Covering these vents with insulation can block the flow of air, allowing heat to build up in the attic.
- Install rafter vents. Also known as insulation baffles, these vents are placed along the attic floor to allow the flow of the air between the soffit vents. These vents are installed prior to laying down insulation.
- Seal any air leaks. Indoor air can leak into the attic in a variety of ways: around pipes, fans, joists and other openings. Check these and other things than can penetrate through your ceiling, such as chimneys, electrical wiring, ventilation ducts and even the attic access hatch. Seal up any gaps with caulk, aluminum flashing or foam weather-stripping as applicable.