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Insulate Your Attic and Crawl Space for a Cooler Summer

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People often believe that home insulation only matters during the winter. No one thinks of wearing an insulated jacket in a sweltering heat wave. But people do use insulated coolers and beverage containers for cold drinks, so insulation is important for keeping your home cool, too. Here's a quick guide to review about the summertime benefits of proper attic and crawl space insulation.

Insulation Is an Ally of Your AC System

Your air conditioning (AC) system takes warm air and processes the air to blow colder air into your living spaces. A well-maintained AC system also manages humidity and particulate matter in the air.

When there are leaks in your AC system, or the AC ducts must pass through warm areas in the crawl space or attic, the heat is transferred to your AC system. The warm air may raise the temperature of forced air in the ducts.  Summertime moisture from condensation, rain, and storm runoff can collect in non-insulated, non-sealed ducts and your AC system.

Excess spring and summer moisture comes from a variety of sources in the summer months, including the following:

  • Leaky pipes

  • Leaking faucets and fixtures

  • Condensation from hot days and cool nights

If condensation enters ductwork and your home in the summer months, the moisture can cause corrosion of AC equipment and mold growth in the system and the home. Insulation helps protect your AC system and your dwelling from summer corrosion and mold issues due to condensation.

Insulation in the Attic Lowers Cooling Costs

The roof and exterior walls of your home make up the majority of your home's barrier against the outside world. If left without insulation, your attic becomes a huge source of escaping warm air in winter and cold air in summer.

With all of the conditioned cool air flowing out of your home via your attic, your AC system must cycle on more frequently to keep up with the demand for cool air in the home. Over time, the constant cycling of the AC system ends up costing you more in power bills than you would pay to have your attic properly insulated against leaks.

In fact, you can cut your cooling and heating costs by up to 20 percent when you install new or improved insulation in your home. The energy savings pay for the extra security and comfort of your new attic insulation in the long run.

Insulation Helps AC Systems Last Longer

When cool air escapes your attic, the AC system must work harder to meet summer cooling needs. The extra cooling cycles put a strain on AC equipment. Your AC system breaks down faster and has a lower lifespan when the system is chronically overworked in summer.

Some of the places where air leaks can happen in summer include attic spaces like the following:

  • Recessed lighting

  • Duct register

  • Plumbing vent stack

  • Dropped soffit

  • Vent fan

  • Top plate

A good way to tell if the attic floor is properly insulated is to check the level of insulation related to any uncovered attic floor joists. If the insulation doesn't meet or extend above the top of the joists, you probably need additional insulation.

Your crawl space should also be insulated to reduce the amount of heat rising up from the unconditioned foundation space. When the attic and crawl space are properly insulated in summer, your AC system isn't overworked. Insulation extends the useful life of your AC system by helping conserve cool air inside the home.

Insulation Around Ductwork Lowers Pest-Related AC Problems

Mice and rats often invade duct work in autumn and winter. They chew accessible materials and make nests inside or near the warm heating ducts in winter. In summer, mice and rats may continue using their cozy nests to raise more young.

Pest invasions in ducts aren't simply nuisance infestations. When wild mammals, pets, birds, or rodents chew or tear through ductwork, the air leaks introduce bacteria and dirt into your AC system. The leaks also reduce your AC system's efficiency in summer.

Rodents chew electrical wiring and other components. These invasive pests urinate on switches and electrical parts. A serious summertime pest infestation can cause burnout of blower motors and other parts in your AC system. Cats or other feral animals can destroy entire sections of ductwork.

Insulation secures the attic, crawl space, and ductwork from foraging and breeding animals in summer and keeps the resulting damage from pests at bay. Insulated ducts carry cool air more efficiently and keep contaminants out of your indoor air supply all summer long.

Schedule installation or inspection of attic and crawl space insulation for your home in the Edmonds, Washington region by contacting AirGanic today. We offer professional installation of home insulation as well as thorough AC duct cleaning to give you a summer full of cool comfort.