When we think about improving our home’s energy efficiency, we think of upgrading our insulation. While a new layer of highly thermal, upgraded insulation blown in the attic can help, it must be combined with a good ventilation system to be worth the effort and cost.
Ventilation in the summer.
In the summer, it makes sense to have proper insulation in your home. You want to lower the attic temperature to decrease cooling costs. If you’re air conditioning is working hard to also cool the hot air coming down from the attic, your costs will be sky high. Moving that hot air out with a ventilation system that promotes air flow is key to summer energy efficiency.
That air flow will even act as a cool protective layer from the heat outside. Even if you have upgraded insulation, it won’t be able to do it’s job without that ventilation system. In fact, some insulation can even retain solar heat throughout the night, having the opposite affect you want.
Ventilation in the winter.
Ventilation can also help keep your home warm and protected in the winter. One of the biggest issues we have in Alberta is condensation and moisture build up in our attics during the cold months. Even if you have moisture barriers keeping it from seeping in from the outside, that moisture will find its way in from the inside of your home. How? Through bathroom vents, hood fans and even light fixtures on the ceiling.
When moisture builds up, it can lead to mildew and mould. Over time, it could even start to rot the wood in your framing. In the worst cases, you could get attic rain. This is when condensation builds up, freezes and accumulates. Then when things heat up, it melts and rains down all over your attic. A well-ventilated attic will prevent and eliminate this problem. Read more about attic rain.
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