We’re always excited when the temperatures start to rise in spring . . . but then they keep rising . . . and the humidity rolls in . . . and by July, some of us are ready to go back to February. Before you end up sweltering in your home this summer, check out these ideas to keep your home cooler by reducing the heat in your attic.
Make sure your attic is properly ventilated.
Your attic should be about 100 degrees in the summer. If it’s not ventilated, however, the temperature up there can climb to 150. An overheated attic can damage the shingles on your roof and will force your air conditioner to work harder which will raise your electric bill. You can remove hot air from an attic in one of two ways. You can force the air out by installing an electric ventilator or attic fan; these typically come with thermostats and automatically turn on when the temperature reaches a pre-set level. Alternatively, you can install vents that allow hot air to escape—but don’t force it—in the gable, soffit or ridge of the roof. A good rule of thumb is to have at least one square foot of vent space for every 300 square feet of floor space in the attic.
Make sure you have adequate insulation.
Installing more insulation in your attic won’t necessarily keep the temperature in the attic down, but it will keep the heat there from impacting your home as much. In Indiana (zone 5) the insulation should have an R-factor of at least 25.
Consider reflective roofing.
If it’s time to replace your roof anyway, you might want to look at different options. The Building Research Council in Illinois found that dark shingles are 27 percent hotter than white shingles, so opting for a lighter color can reduce your air conditioning costs. Metal roofs are more reflective than shingles and produce even more savings—though you do have to be sure that your ceiling is airtight so you don’t run the risk of condensation causing problems in the winter.