If your attic improvements are handled diligently, your attic should provide comfort and continue to save money and energy for many years to come.
Ideally, an unconditioned attic should maintain a separate climate from the rest of the house by minimizing conditioned air from getting into and escaping out of it, and still have free airflow to ventilate to the outside. Improvements to the attic from the inside can be among the most cost-effective energy upgrade you make.
Your interior attic upgrades may involve a combination of weatherizing, insulating and ventilating. The links below provide more detail:
Click on the links below to see examples and illustrations of:
The level of air sealing is one of the most difficult things to determine in a quick inspection – look for soiled patches of insulation as an indicator of uncontrolled air leakage.
Insulate: Determine what you have and what you need for attic insulation based on your geography and climate. If you live in the US, refer to the section on insulation to get a better idea of the recommended levels for your region. Below are several examples of attic insulation upgrades involving different techniques and products.
First, an example of an increasing the level of insulation. Note the yardstick in the joists showing the before and after levels:
Next, an example of the common practice of mixing insulation types:
And here are examples of insulation with vapor barrier:
And finally, two examples of radiant barriers in attics mainly for warmer climates:
Here are examples of intentional attic ventilation :
AND, here are pictures of UNintentional attic ventilation:
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