Having proper attic insulation and ventilation both saves you money and protects your health. In summertime, attics are especially prone to overheating and moisture buildup that can cause a number of problems for your home and its occupants. Ensuring good airflow and sufficient insulation goes a long way toward preventing these problems.
Why Attic Insulation and Ventilation are Necessary
Temperatures in an attic can reach well over 150 degrees. Heat like this not only warms up your house; it also can warp your shingles. Ventilation is vital for drawing out this hot air, so it doesn’t enter your living space or damage your roof.
Sufficient airflow also inhibits mold growth by removing excess humidity. Mold in your attic can make its way into your rooms, so attic ventilation protects not just your house, but also your health.
An appropriate amount of insulation keeps the attic at the right temperature year round. In summer, insulation keeps heat in the attic where it can be removed by the vents. In winter, insulation keeps the heat your furnace produces from rising into your attic.
With the right attic insulation and ventilation, you’ll enjoy lower energy bills because your air conditioner and furnace won’t be working overtime trying to cool or heat the attic.
The most common attic ventilation method is the continuous ridge-and-soffit system. This consists of ridge vents along the roof peak paired with vents in the soffits, the area under your roof overhang. Air enters from the soffit vents and exits through the ridge vents. Adding an attic fan also helps move hot air out of your attic.
In the Antioch area, R-38 to R-49 is the recommended attic insulation level. That’s around 16 inches of fiberglass batt insulation. This type is the easiest to install, so it’s a good choice if you’re doing the job yourself. Just take care not to lay insulation over the attic soffit vents.