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Can You Fix A Hot Attic?

Does your attic always have to be a sauna in the summer? No, it doesn’t. Learn why most attics are hot and what you can do to help yours.
Can you fix a hot attic?

Growing up in North Carolina, I always dreaded having to go up into our attic once spring came around. It’s where we kept our suitcases, so in the summertime, when it was time to pack up and go on vacation, one unlucky soul got to climb the ladder and be in charge of throwing the suitcases down. Somehow, I always got to be that ‘unlucky soul’ and would quickly be covered in a sheen of sweat. 

Attics are often associated with scorching hot temps in the summer (and the arctic tundra in the winter). Does your attic always have to be a sauna in the summer? Can you fix a hot attic? The answer is yes, you can, and you should. A hot attic means a hotter house. A hotter house in the summer means discomfort and more money spent on energy.

WHAT MAKES YOUR ATTIC HOT?

There are a few things that you can blame for a hot attic:

  • Charles’s Law, a.k.a. science
  • Insulation
  • Poor Ventilation

We can blame Charles’s Law, a.k.a. science, because, well, hot air rises. So all of the warm air in your house eventually goes up to your attic. Insulation on the attic floor traps hot air. Not only do you have to worry about hot air rising, but you also have to factor in the power of the sun. Rays from that yellow ball of gas burning over 90-million miles away are hitting your home’s roof and essentially turning your attic into an oven.

Next up, we have insulation to blame. As mentioned above, insulation can play a part in trapping heat in your attic. The attics of traditional homes are frequently insulated with fiberglass or cellulose insulation. When your attic is full of hot air, the insulation on the floor of your attic traps the hot air in the attic. If your home is lacking an air seal, this is most likely adding to the amount of hot air in your home during the spring and summer months.

Pairing inadequate insulation with improper ventilation in your attic creates a recipe for the trapment of hot air. Blocked vents or improperly ventilated attics prevent air from circulating. No circulation equals higher and hotter than normal temperatures in your attic.

HOW CAN YOU FIX YOUR HOT ATTIC?

There’s not much we can do to change how science works, but we can do something about insulation and ventilation.

Inspect attic floors insulated with fiberglass or cellulose insulation to ensure proper ventilation. You may need soffit vents (along the side of your attic floor), ridge vents (along the ridgeline of your roof), or gable vents (on an outer wall of your attic). Do not block the vent in attics that are soffit, ridge or gable vents. A blocked vent could be keeping the air from circulating properly in your attic.

Even if you have proper ventilation, air circulating at 95 degrees is still air circulating at 95 degrees. The best way to have a cool attic is to insulate your roof deck with insulation, like spray foam, to create an air seal. Attics insulated with spray foam should not have insulation on the attic floor. The air in your attic circulates with the air in the rest of the home, and having insulation on the attic floor will keep the air from freely moving.

CONTACT RETROFOAM OF THE CAROLINAS

RetroFoam of the Carolinas spray and injection foams help you keep your home comfortable (attic included) without having you fork over an arm, a leg, and your first born. Contact us today for an estimate.

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