Hot Attic Increases Energy Costs

November 10, 2010 | Filed under: Home Ventilation, Misc, Roofing Answers

A homeowner from Alabama, recently sent me the following question:

Q: I live in southern Alabama in a home that was built in 1992, The inspector while inspecting this summer said my attic was running 150 – 180 degrees and suggested that something be done. Roof is original there are wind vents and soffit vents. There is sort of a ridge vent (metal) that sits on top of the roof shingles on the south side. Also there is ridge vent on the rest of the house. Adequate insulation. Air-ducts are in the attic and they are the roll type not with insulation around them but not metal. The air conditioner works hard.

What can i do about venting the roof. or do i even need to worry about it?

Thank you in advance

Here is my response:

A: Honestly, that temperature does not surprise me especially if it was a hot sunny day. Attics do get very warm. However, keeping the attic cooler would help reduce air conditioning loads.

I would make sure your ventilation is functioning properly with intake and exhaust. www.airvent.com is a great source of help on this. You need to have proper balance between the ridge and soffit vents and also have good coverage throughout the attic. Making sure that your intake (soffit) vents are not blocked by insulation is also important.

You can also add a radiant barrier to your attic or switch to a light colored roof or a metal roof with reflective pigment in the paint. By reflecting the heat away from the outside of the home, you can dramatically reduce your attic temperatures.

There is also a new combination insulation and ventilation product out called ThermaDeck which could meet your needs very well.

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