Is Hot Temperature in My Attic Bad for My Home?

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Many people wonder, "Is hot temperature in my attic bad for my home?" In short, the answer is yes. Hot temperatures in your attic can damage your home. They can also make it harder to control the temperature in the rest of the house.

How hot is too hot? What is the best way to achieve cooler air in your attic, especially during the summer months? Let's find out. 

The Problem with an Overheated Attic

The hotter your attic is, the harder it is to cool the rest of your living space. And, not surprisingly, the colder your attic is, the harder it's going to be to heat your living space.

An HVAC system housed in the attic has to work extra hard to compensate for extra toasty conditions. Even if your HVAC equipment is in the basement or a downstairs closet, most homes have ductwork in the attic, so the ambient temperature there still has a major impact on the efficiency of the HVAC system.

Hot air rises to the attic space and will be lost to the outside air or trapped under the roof if proper ventilation and insulation are not present. The better control you can get over the temperature of the attic, the easier it will be to maintain a comfortable climate inside of your home.

Here are just a few of the problems that can arise from too high temperatures in your attic:

  • Outer Roof Damage. Asphalt shingles can get baked to the roof and start to deteriorate. This reduces their life span, and they could have to be replaced earlier than expected.
  • Wood Damage. The wood framing your roof can get warped from hot, humid air, possibly leading it to cave in. Mold and mildew can also set in, posing health risks.
  • HVAC Damage: If your HVAC equipment is in your attic, your air conditioner has to go into overdrive to compensate for the attic heat. This can put too much stress on the system, causing it to break down sooner as well.
  • Inefficient Insulation. As the temperature in your attic soars, the excess heat and humidity can cause compaction in some types of attic insulation, reducing its effectiveness.

If you've noticed that no matter what you do with your AC, you can't keep your home's temperature at the right level and your energy bill is way higher than it should be, there's a good chance you have an overly hot attic.

Ideal Attic Temperatures

So, how hot should your attic be?

Ideally, the attic temperature should be close to the outside temperature, give or take 10 to 20 degrees. If your attic temperature is getting to 130 degrees or hotter, you can expect to see damage to your home. An attic can easily surpass this target in warm climates, getting as high as 160 degrees in the summer.

If you live in a warmer climate like Texas, you'll want to ensure your attic is adequately ventilated and insulated. By doing that, you will protect your home and reduce energy bills.

Ideas for Regulating High Attic Temperatures

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The cost of controlling the climate in your attic can be prohibitively high, but you can also reduce heat transfer in an effective way without having to take a second mortgage on your house.

  • Radiant Barriers. Radiant barriers are the most effective product for most of the year in states like Texas. They can reduce attic temperatures from 20 to 45 degrees in summer and keep heat from escaping in winter. While insulation is also important, you can see a big difference in your utility bill—up to 40%—with just a radiant barrier.
  • Attic Fan. Electric ventilators and attic ventilation fans remove excessive heat from the attic by bringing in outside air and blowing the inside air out through the soffit vents in your eaves. Attic fans are energy-efficient and reduce the workload for your AC.
  • Passive Vents. Passive vents use wind and convection to circulate air through your attic. Gable vents, continuous ridge vents, and static vents are different types of openings in the roof that allow air to escape without motorized fans.
  • Attic Insulation. Adequate insulation can go a long way toward preventing heat escape and controlling the overall climate of your home. Fiberglass, wool, and cellulose are all good insulation options. An energy audit will help you determine the best type of insulation for your own attic.
  • Metal Roofing. When your roof needs replacing, consider switching to a metal roof. These are more energy-efficient than asphalt roofs and are great in warm climates for keeping hot air outside.

The Benefits of Proper Insulation

Ultimately, there are three main benefits to installing an adequate insulation system in your attic—comfort, control, and cost savings.

  • Comfort. With proper attic ventilation, you will notice an immediate difference in your home's temperatures. It will be more comfortable in both summer and winter.
  • Control. You deserve to be in control of your home. With the right ventilation system, you can control the temperature in your attic and the rest of your house. This will maximize your equipment and home life span.
  • Cost Savings. If your attic is currently running too hot, a radiant barrier or insulation system installation should help you save 25 to 40% on your utility bills.
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Protect Your Home With a Radiant Barrier Today

You've worked hard to create a home you love, and you deserve to be comfortable in it. An overheated attic can cause damage to your home and drive up energy bills. It could be hard to enjoy the home you love with problems like this.

If you're concerned that the temperature in your attic is too high, an energy audit will help you see where you're underutilizing opportunities to control the heat in your home and identify ways you can save money on your electric bills. Energy Attic can assess your home's energy efficiency and discuss the benefits of a radiant barrier system with you.

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