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Why Is Attic Ventilation So Important to Your System?

One of the keys to an energy-efficient HVAC system is to make sure your home is free from costly air leaks that allow the treated air to escape and the warm, stuffy air from outside to seep in. So it might come as somewhat of a surprise when we tell you that another important key is a properly ventilated attic that freely lets outside air flow in, some people find themselves confused pretty quickly. If you need to keep your home sealed, why is suddenly letting an abundance of outside air flow in going to help? We’ll answer this question on this blog.

Problems in an Unventilated Attic

When your attic isn’t properly ventilated, all of the heat that your roof absorbs from the hours and hours of bombardment by sunlight simply continues to build and accumulate. With nowhere to go, it just sits and grows, not unlike a mold infestation in a dark and damp area. Before you know it, you’ve got an attic that’s well into triple digits in temperature.

Well, that attic which is now extremely hot is a gigantic pocket of heat sitting above your home. While you might have insulation between your attic and the living space below, the truth of the matter is the heat can still be passed from your attic to the rest of your home. In two-story homes in particular, this is a huge problem and it’s not uncommon for homes with major attic ventilation problems to struggle with massive temperature differences between the top and bottom floors. Sometimes these differences can be as high as eight to ten degrees, even with a properly-functioning HVAC system!

This is because heat simply radiates down from the attic, warming the rooms below, and it continues to do this at all hours of the day because the heat will dissipate so slowly. The only way to truly resolve this issue is to give the air in your attic somewhere to go, and that means having proper ventilation and adequate airflow where air from outside can replace the hot, muggy air inside your attic and keep the temperature down.

Is Your Attic Ideal for Maximum Efficiency?

There’s a few ways you can figure out if your attic is properly ventilated. The complicated way that can instantly tell you whether or not you’re dealing with an attic ventilation issue is to use a special heat-sensing camera or laser thermometer to investigate the ceiling over rooms that are particularly hot and muggy. This should almost immediately show you if you’ve got an attic ventilation problem.

The slightly easier choice is that you can go into your attic itself and use a thermometer to record the temperature. Attics with poor ventilation can reach temperatures in excess of 115 to 120 degrees, especially in the middle of summer. If the temperature in your attic is ten degrees or more warmer than it is outside, then your ventilation could use some work.

You could also use your time in the attic to check for any ventilation holes located near the eaves in your roof and possibly even a vent located near the top of your roof or up high on a plane. If any of these vents are blocked or obscured by insulation, junk, or anything else in your attic, consider moving them in order to encourage better airflow.

In worst-case scenarios, you may wish to install a new vent at the top of your roof that heat can escape from. These vents are fairly inexpensive to purchase, but they need to be installed properly so you probably want to have a roofer come out and do it.

However, by encouraging this airflow, you should notice that your air conditioner is suddenly much more effective at keeping your home cool and comfortable, especially in your upstairs rooms which no longer have a giant quantity of heat sitting directly overhead.

Have your home’s HVAC system audited for energy efficiency by our Palm Beach County air conditioning professionals today! Call Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC at (888) 660-4337 to schedule yours.