Proper Attic Ventilation is Essential in the Summer Months
Maintaining proper attic ventilation is a year-round issue, but it’s particularly important during the summer months. Solar energy radiating through your roof accumulates inside an enclosed attic, causing temperatures to soar as high as 150 degrees on an Ohio summer day. The attic often remains excessively hot well into the night, even after the outside air has cooled. This continuous reservoir of broiling attic heat causes a number of issues:
- An overheated attic radiates heat energy through the ceiling and down into living spaces. This can raise the temperature in rooms below as much as 10 degrees, causing your air conditioner to run longer cycles to compensate. Cooling costs and wear and tear on your A/C increase while indoor comfort declines.
- Constant exposure to extreme heat deteriorates structural components located in the attic. Wooden framing and other structure dries out and splits. Roof sheathing warps and leaks may develop.
- Air conditioning ductwork is typically routed through the attic space. An overheated attic causes thermal heat gain, warming the cool, conditioned air as it passes through the ducts and decreasing the effectiveness of your A/C.
- First, make sure passive ventilation is adequate. Verify that intake vents (typically located down at the soffits) aren’t obstructed by shifting insulation or another object. Also, determine that the roof vents are properly sized for the attic and are open.
- Consider installation of a powered attic ventilation fan to boost passive venting. Installed at the roof peak or the gables, a vent fan can operate on a thermostat that senses attic temperatures and activates only when heat becomes excessive. Solar vent fans use the free energy of the sun and run only during daylight hours when attic heat is most intense.
- To reduce the effect of attic heat infiltration into living spaces, make sure the depth and quality of attic insulation meets current standards and upgrade if necessary.