Air Sealing and Insulating A Conventional Attic
The energy conservation experts at Dr. Energy Saver first look into the attic when helping improve a home's energy efficiency, because a properly insulated and air sealed attic is the main component of a green home! Larry Janesky, owner and president of Dr. Energy Saver, explains how the "stack effect" can make an uninsulated attic a huge source of energy loss. Heated air from the conditioned space rises and escapes through the vents in the attic. As a result, air from the outside is sucked in from the lower parts of the building, forcing the heating and cooling system to work harder to keep the temperatures comfortable.
The Attic Is Our "A" Priority
When we make homes more energy efficient and comfortable for the owners that live in them, one of the things that we do most often is work in the attic. The attic is our A priority....A for attic; B for basement or crawl space; C for condition space. But attic is always the priority. And there's reasons for that. Warm air rises, leaks through the top of the house. Heat rises and we have conductive heat losses through the top of the house.
Spray Foam Seals It Tight
When we have ducts in the attic that is a terrible thing. We don't want ducts in the attic anymore with modern construction knowing what we know now, but there's millions of homes with ducts in the attic and we're trying to produce hot or cold air and running that air through sheet metal ducts, through an attic that is the opposite temperature. We're trying to produce cold air in the summer time; the attic is baking hot. We're trying to produce warm air in the winter time; the attic is freezing cold because it is vented. So, we want to add insulation to those ducts. And spray foam is one way that we do that here at Dr. Energy Saver. And we want to seal those ducts so they don't leak air into the attic and that air that we pay to heat or cool is lost. So, that spray foam accomplishes that too.
If we do put a storage area or a dam, we want to have some containment for where we're going to blow our lose fill insulation. And we'll put, we call that a dam to hold that insulation back. Cellulose is our insulation of choice although from time-to-time for different reasons we may use fiber glass. And we'll blow in enough insulation so that we get an R-60 insulation value. Most attics out there started out with maybe R-19 insulation and over time the insulation gets compressed and dirty and there's lots of gaps in it and really, you may only have R-10 in your attic. So, we have in R-value of R-60 putting a nice warm blanket over the top of the house which will prevent heat loss from underneath getting out into the attic and into the sky because it's vented. Or prevent heat flow the other way. If you have a hot roof in the summer time, that heat is radiating down and this will protect your ceilings from getting hot and making your home more uncomfortable.
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