It’s summer. It’s hot. The temperatures are high, that’s not great for your home. More specifically, it’s not good for your attic space. If you use your attic for any type of storage, or have had to go up there for work, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that it can be unbearably hot during the summer months. This is not only uncomfortable for you, it’s also bad for your home, which is why it’s important to take the appropriate steps to cool your attic space during the summer. Short of installing ducting and central air up there (which is unreasonable unless you want to finish the space at a substantial cost), there are a few ways in which you can reduce attic temperatures and protect your home.
Why Hot Attics are Not a Good Thing
A hot and humid attic can cause several issues with your home, including:
- Increased home temperatures: even with insulation in your ceiling, heat can still get into your home and raise its temperature.
- Increased utility bills: air conditioners ultimately have to work harder and longer to maintain your desired temperature.
- Damage to roofing: high humidity can cause the wood in your roofing materials to expand, which can lead to damage to roofing tiles.
- Mold: areas with high humidity are always prone to mold growth.
- Damage to stored items: many items kept in attic spaces can deteriorate more quickly when exposed to high temperatures and excessive humidity.
There are a couple of things you can do in order to prevent these issues and keep your attic cool and less humid.
Attic ventilation is extremely important because it allows hot air and humidity to escape. When air is allowed to move through a space, the space also naturally cools. In order to cool your attic space, try adding these types of ventilation:
- Soffit vents: these types of vents are installed on the underside of your home’s eaves (also known as the soffit).
- Roof vents: these vents can be installed directly on top of your roof.
- Venting bathroom fans: some houses have bathroom fans on the upper floor that vent directly into the attic space, not outside of the house. This pushes heavily humidified air from your bath/shower into your attic space. Always make sure that bathroom fan vents have ducts taking the air outside of the house.
Attic insulation can also help prevent hot air from getting into your space. There are many different types of insulation, so check with your contractor to see which is best for your particular home.
Another way to insulate an attic space is to invest in a roofing material that has a higher R-value. Metal roofing is particularly good at reflecting heat, which will in turn help keep your attic cooler even during the hottest months of the year.