Reducing Attic Energy Loss

Looking Upwards to Save Big $: The surprising #1 Energy-sucking culprit but quick-fix in most homes

Dejeanne Doublet

Green Techniques to Improve Attic Energy EfficiencyFor those green-thinking people out there who want to save energy in their homes, installing new energy-efficient windows seems to be the first step to having an energy-efficient home. However, contrary to popular belief, windows are not likely to be the main culprit to energy-loss and expensive bills.

Studies have shown that the first priority to having an energy-efficient home may be right on top of your head. Insulating your attic has proven to have tremendous effects on your home energy efficiency and consequently on your wallet.

Generally, 60% of energy lost in a home is through the attic, as compared to only 30% that is lost through walls, windows and doors combined. This is primarily due to warm air rising, allowing colder outside air to enter and create the so called “stack-effect.”

The non-profit organization Advanced Energy has found that in most cases attic sealing can save you up to five times the amount of money as installing energy-efficient window panes, which can add up to an extra $500 per year in your pockets. Both home improvements are important in having an energy-friendly home but when it comes down to choosing the one that will provide the biggest bang for your buck, your bet should be on attic sealing.

And this home improvement adds up to whole lot of savings, especially considering that sealing your attic can be both easy and inexpensive.

According to EnergyStar, home-owners should focus on plugging the big holes. Leakage is most likely to occur where both inner and outer walls meet the attic floor, at dropped-ceiling areas, and behind or under attic knee-walls. Dirty insulation can signify significant air loss.

But how do you know if you have a problem in the first place? Your first step should be to hire a local energy auditor to check out your home. Another quick test is to see if ice forms under your roof during winter. If this is happening, you should definitely get started on insulating your attic.

Once you’re ready to improve the comfort and durability of your home, you can refer to a number of DIY guides to sealing your attic including one provided here by EnergyStar or offered here by the Department of Energy.

Remember, your goal should always be to have the most comfortable, safe and durable home possible while saving the most amount of money you can. Happy attic-sealing!

Additional Attic Energy Resources:

Michigan State University Research
Proactive Energy Systems

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