If your home includes an attic, then you are already familiar with the common attic problem: intense heat. Where does that heat come from? How is it possible for such high temperatures to exist in a normal house? Can a person even survive in such heat?
Before you seal the attic door shut, take a moment to think about the heat in your attic. It’s a common problem caused by something specific. Better yet, it is a problem that can be controlled! The first step to fixing a problem is understanding it, so keep reading to learn more about the heat monster in your attic.
One of the most common causes of hot attics is a lack of adequate ventilation. Whether your home is old or young, updated or outdated, your attic ventilation could most likely be improved. To investigate if this is indeed the problem, check out the vents that are on the rooftop. These are specifically for exhaust and need to be an adequate size for your attic – if your attic is huge, you will need something bigger than a couple vents that are six inches in size.
Ventilation has more to it than just exhaust vents. Also called “soffit vents,” intake vents are situated on the underside of your house’s roof. They are responsible both for pushing hot air out of the attic as well as pulling cool air from outside inside. Plenty of people miss the intake vents because they are harder to spot, especially for the untrained eye. Some people might even accidentally paint over them. They require consistent cleaning and maintenance, like any fan in your house, and, unfortunately for most homeowners, they are almost always too few when a house is initially built.
Like exhaust vents, intake vents need to be an adequate size for your attic. Nearly every attic originally built with the house comes with intake vents that are too few and too small – install more and bigger vents to refresh the oppressing heat of your attic.
Another culprit that causes the intense heat in the attic is actually a lack of proper attic insulation. Many people get this part wrong – they assume that their hot attics mean that they actually have too much insulation that is trapping the hot air – but that’s not quite how it works. The attic serves as an integral part of your home keeping cool overall – this means that it needs proper insulation to keep things cool, both inside the attic and inside the home.
Good Insulation needs to be thick – more than a foot thick, in fact – in order to properly keep the heat from going into your home to begin with. Take a walk in your attic and look up – can you see the rafters on the ceiling? If you can, your insulation is not thick enough.
Keep in mind that, although it may seem obvious to some, good insulation will keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It doesn’t simply cool things off indefinitely – the whole point is to maintain a steady temperature within your home (and attic), no matter what the exterior climate is like.