90% of Homes are under Insulated. How does your Attic Measure up?
If you’ve ever ventured into your homes unconditioned attic during a typical Dallas Winter or Summer, you understand why builders, from an energy perspective, don’t think of an attic as part of the home. The hot, humid and stagnant air creates a climate, even my seasoned service engineers can’t work in for more than about 20 minutes at a time. In the Dallas Winter months the attic can get down into the teens. In homes across the Dallas Metropolitan area, poorly sealed and grossly under insulated attics are making homeowners uncomfortable in their homes, and in their wallets, by causing unnecessarily high utility bills year round. Efficient Home Solutions recommends a short visit to your attic with a measuring tape or ruler, a camera, flashlight and a partner for safety. Things to look at while in your attic:
- Attic floor insulation level – use a ruler or tape measure to determine your insulation level by placing it on the sheet rock under the insulation and measuring the average depth in inches. Tip-if you can see the floor joists (studs) you probably need more insulation. Take a picture of tape measure down inside insulation showing the depth so you can send it to us for discussion. You’ll also want to be certain the insulation you do have is not blocking or clogging your soffit vents and preventing good attic ventilation.
2. From a safe and secure spot look around your attic with attic the light off and flash light off to see if you see light from inside the home coming from unsealed openings in canned lights and utility openings. Take a picture with the flash OFF.
3. Is the attic access opening you enter your attic through in a conditioned space? If your attic access opening is located in a closet or hallway in your home and it is not sealed, you might as well consider it to be an open door or window allowing a direct pathway for air to move between the unconditioned space(your attic) and the conditioned space(your home) 24 hours a day. When your home HVAC system is running, the return air openings will pull air into your home from these opening. Sealing this opening will make a major difference in your Comfort, Utility Bills and Indoor Air Quality. Efficient Home Solutions recommends the Attic Tent. What is the Attic Tent? It is the ultimate solutions invented to seal attic stairs, scuttle holes, knee wall doors and full size doors. It was primarily designed to stop cold or hot (depending on the season) attic air from infiltrating your home through these openings. These openings are considered to be most home hot spots for energy loss.
Since heat naturally travels from hot to cold areas, hot air will enter and leave a conditioned home through leaks and holes, the largest of which are usually in the attic. To slow heat transfer in the summer from the attic into the home and in the winter from the home into the attic the most effective method is to maintain a high level of attic insulation(R-60 or 22”) and to seal up the envelope of the home as much as possible.
Call Efficient Home Solutions today for assistance in evaluating how your homes attic measures up.