How Your Attic Ventilation Affects Your Air Conditioner Efficiency

If you have a functional AC unit, but find that your home is still not getting cool enough, you might blame it on leaky ducts, an under-powered or overpowered unit, or dust and grime buildup in your ducts. There might actually be a secret culprit, however: your attic.

Whether your HVAC system is mounted partially in your attic or whether you simply have a large attic that collects a lot of heat, your attic could be seriously affecting your ability to get your home cool in the summer and even properly warm in the winter.

Here are just a few ways that your attic’s ventilation affects your air conditioner:

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1. Insulation

Without the right level of insulation, you are going to have a drafty attic. This does not mean just that your attic will get cold in the winter—it will also get horribly hot in the Florida summer. Insulation protects your home both from cold and from heat. And if it is not properly insulated, the cooled air that your system is pumping into your home will leak into that attic.

Because most attics are very warm in the winter and cool air always seeks to displace warm air, the air that you are paying to cool will quickly leak into your poorly insulated attic and your home will never get as cool as you want it to be.

2. Ventilation

How well your attic is vented will dictate the moisture levels in your home. When your attic is insulated and vented properly, you can prevent moisture from building up in your home, which causes a number of issues. It also governs the exchange of air, helping your AC unit to work more efficiently.

With the right ventilation, your attic will vent air to the outside, helping to help your home cool. Improper ventilation, however, will trap hot air in. This combined with bad insulation, can turn your attic into the coolest place in your home, leaving the rest of your house uncomfortable.

If your home has either of these two issues, there are ways that you can vent trapped heat and prevent cool air from leaking into your attic. The first thing to do is to evaluate your vent structure. Do you have a system set up that helps to vent hot air out of your house, to the outdoors? If not, you might be capping your house off with a hot, wet attic that not only makes your home uncomfortable warm, but also fosters the growth of mold and encourages rot. If you are not sure whether or not your attic has proper venting, you may want to connect with a professional AC company that can evaluate your ventilation and see if it is functioning properly.

The second thing to do is seal your attic. This may be a job for a contractor or for a Sarasota AC company, but it can seriously improve the efficiency of your AC unit. If cold air is not leaking into your attic and the hot air inside it is being vented away, you are going to have a much more comfortable home that costs you much less to heat. An attic fan might be a good solution for improving ventilation, and replacing degraded insulation or other building materials can help to seal up an attic that has started to leak.

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