Do you remember your mom insisting you wear a hat on really cold days so the heat won’t escape from the top of your head? The same concept applies to the attic of your home, which can account for a 25% heat loss when you’re trying to keep your rooms comfortable in cold weather. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates you can save 10% to 50% on heating costs with improved attic insulation. And in Texas’s hot summer months, attics often allow unwanted heat to seep through the ceilings, making it much harder to keep your home cool.
So how can you make your attic more energy efficient, which results in easier-to-maintain temperatures inside your home and saves money? Discover these energy-saving measures today.
5 Tips for Energy Savings via Your Attic
- Proper Insulation
It’s important to have the right type and amount of attic insulation for the climate you live in. To keep your furnace or air conditioning from working overtime, check your attic insulation’s thickness, type (fiberglass, foam, natural fibers, etc.), and density. Insulation effectiveness is measured by its R-value, and the U.S. Department of Energy gives R-value insulation recommendations for Texas and across the U.S.
Fifty years ago, R-values were typically around 11, whereas today’s standards are around 38. You may need to completely replace insulation in older homes due to materials, wear, or updated standards. For proper installation, hire a professional or make sure you’re well-educated on the process if you plan to DIY.
- Radiant Barriers
As the sun beats down on a house, the attic heats up even hotter than the outside temperature — sometimes up to 150 degrees! And if your upstairs is significantly warmer than your downstairs level, it’s a sign that your attic’s insulation or barrier aren’t doing their job well. For Texas’s hot climate, installing radiant barrier sheathing on the attic ceiling can save 5% to 10% on your energy bill.
A reflective radiant barrier inside the attic reduces the heat radiation absorbed by your roofing and attic materials, thus stopping it from impacting your home’s temperature and air conditioning effectiveness. Keeping your attic cool helps keep your home cool. But even in Texas, radiant barriers need to be a part (but not the whole) of your attic energy-saving plan.
- Air Sealing
As with the rest of your home, ensure recessed light fixtures, pipes, and duct work that go to/from the attic don’t have gaps that are letting valuable paid-for air or heat escape. Seal those air leaks and ceiling cracks.
- Attic Door Insulation
Your attic door, whether it’s a drop-down ladder or small covered opening in the ceiling, can be the unassuming culprit of leaky air. Make sure the edges are weatherstripped and pad the door with extra insulation or a foam/fiberglass board cut to size. You can also research specialized energy-saving attic doors.
- Ventilation and Attic Fans
Proper attic ventilation helps air flow and keeps moisture and mildew from building up in the attic. Some may worry vents to the outside release too much heat or cool air, but if your attic is properly insulated, this shouldn’t be a problem.Adding an attic fan also keeps the space cool by displacing the warm, moist air and regulating the attic’s temperature. Plus, it helps prolong your roof’s lifespan. Consider a solar attic fan for even more energy-efficient savings. Experts say a well-insulated, sealed, and ventilated attic should be only 10 to 25 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.
By implementing some or all of these energy-saving steps in your attic, you could put hundreds of dollars back in your pocket each year. Don’t let another season go by without making your attic more energy efficient. Additionally, if you want to save even more money on your electric bill, check out a Payless Power prepaid plan with no deposits or credit check.