Most houses in Austin (and the entire state of Texas) have an attic, which is the one place that has the biggest energy leaks in the entire house, aside from a basement. A home consists of an “envelope” which is the living space encased with insulation that is heated or cooled. For the majority of homeowners, attic insulation is not properly installed or the attic itself neglects the rules of energy efficiency.
Attics are supposed to be ventilated which keeps the air flowing and helps maintain a mild temperature. The warm Texas summers and bitter winters cause attics to inefficiently cool or heat the top of your home. What makes up for this inefficiency is your home air conditioning and heating unit. If attic soffit vents are blocked, air flow is impacted, which makes the situation that much worse.
Most likely, you have an elaborate duct system up there. These large aluminum-looking tubes can easily wear, tear and puncture. Approximately 20% of air is lost through leaks and holes in ducts. This loss is reflected on your energy bill every month. To keep your energy bill low, search for leaks and patch them with metal (foil) tape on an annual basis.
Chimneys are nice in the winter, but unfortunately, most are inefficiently sealed. Having a roaring fire may be romantic, but is a major influence on loss of heat. In addition, chimneys that run through the attic, more often then not, are improperly sealed at the attic floor level. These gaps can cause additional energy loss. As a solution, homeowners can easily caulk the gaps through the attic.
Attic doors are a major culprit in energy loss. Anyone who has an attic door located in a bedroom will certainly feel the difference in temperatures in that room. Hallways are common access points for attic stairs, and are also big energy losing areas of the house. Attic doors must be treated as any other door and properly weather stripped and sealed as any other door would require. Sealing an attic hatch or door can save homeowners up to $200 a year in energy costs.
The final area in the attic to watch out for is the roof. Leaks, holes and missing shingles can cause additional energy loss as well as affect the airflow in the attic. Speak to one of our roofing consultants today to discuss proper insulation, roofing and energy efficient shingles to help keep your heating and cooling exactly where it was meant to be.