Improve air conditioning with attic insulation

Air conditioning efficiency and attic insulation in Portland

Most homes in the U.S. have both an attic and a basement. Though both spaces certainly provide additional storage space, they play a far more important role when it comes to how efficient your home's heating and cooling system is -- during both the winter and the summer.

Heating and cooling comprise approximately 54% of the average American's annual utility bills. Heat rises in the winter, meaning it's headed straight to your attic -- and then straight outside -- rather than in the areas you need or want it; in the summer, warm air can end up leeching the cool, air-conditioned air right back out into the oppressive heat. The result is sky-high utility bills year-round, furnace and air conditioning units that have to work overtime, and a home that hardly ever seems to be the right temperature. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to both problems: insulation.

Sealed Tight

Insulation provides a barrier against air leakage. By preventing the release of both hot and cold air from the home (and the entrance of hot and cold air from the outdoors), your house is better able to maintain its temperature. This triggers a domino effect: when your home isn't constantly losing cooled air, your air conditioning system doesn't have to work as hard (which can reduce the money you spend on heating and cooling by more than 40%); because your air conditioning unit doesn't have to work as hard, the wear-and-tear it experiences will be significantly lessened. The end result is an AC system that is more efficient and under less strain, ensuring that it will last longer than its overworked counterpart.

How Do I Know If My Home Is Properly Insulated?

There are several signs that indicate insufficient attic insulation. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Your home was built more than 20 years ago

  • You notice temperatures fluctuating from room to room

  • Your utility bill has skyrocketed

It's a good idea to have your house inspected if any of these are true; you can even request a home energy audit to find out what precisely needs to be changed in order to make your home more energy efficient. Our recommendation? Start with the attic!

Steffan Kasula