Many homeowners suffer from unnecessarily high utility bills, uncomfortable temperatures in the summer, musty smells on objects stored in the attic and condensation on windows and doors during the winter. According to Allan from U.S. Sunlight and Cliff from Eco Attic, these problems can be resolved by simply addressing the home's attic space. Alan Breidenbach puts it bluntly, "If you don't ventilate, it can cause mold, mildew and potentially health problems." He is referring to the need for year-round attic ventilation. News 10 in Sacramento, California

The benefits of active attic ventilation are commonly linked to summer months. The Florida Solar Energy Center has analyzed 21 houses and determined 43% of air conditioning design load is based on elevated attic temperatures which frequently reach 160˚F. For this reason, many homeowners quickly look to lower attic temperatures in order to alleviate air conditioning usage.

Despite popular belief, a well ventilated attic is just as important during the winter months. Most homeowners believe a hot attic in the winter months provides a heat barrier to keep the rest of the home warm. Unfortunately, a warm attic does little more in the winter months than to create the perfect environment for mold and mildew. As the warm attic air reaches the cold underside of the house roof, it creates condensation. In fact, according to the Energy Performance of Buildings Group at the Lawrence Berkeley Center, throughout the course of the winter months, a typical attic absorbs up to 220 pounds of moisture. In the spring, the building materials in the attic release the moisture back into the attic, equivalent to almost 30 gallons of water. Moisture in the attic causes these following homeowner nightmares:

  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Condensation and humidity saturates insulation, causing the insulation to lose its effectiveness
  • Melted snow re-freezing on the eaves, causing back-up of water under the shingles; also known as ice damming
  • Sheetrock pops and truss uplifts, causing damage and cracks to drywall in the house

 

For the well-being and balance of a home, it is imperative to have a well-ventilated attic, as well as proper insulation and quality windows and doors. With all of these pieces addressed, a homeowner will rapidly see lower energy costs and a longer lifespan of building materials.