School will soon be out for the summer, which means your kids and your power bills could get out of control. We can't do much about your kids, but we can suggest a few home improvements to keep your Atlanta home cool and your energy costs low as the summer air heats up.
Energy Efficiency Starts With Your Atlanta Roof
Two of the most effective ways to make your home more energy efficient involve home improvements that can be made to your Atlanta roof and attic:
- Install additional attic insulation
- Add attic/roof ventilation (such as roof vents and soffit vents)
Most homes that have been built since the mid-'70s have some amount of insulation, but you may be surprised to find out that many, perhaps even your home, have less than the amount recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Atlanta Attic Insulation - How Much Is Needed?
The Department of Energy recommends that attic insulation be installed as required to achieve a minimum R-value of R-38 for homes in Atlanta, north Georgia and other parts of the south. They suggest adding additional insulation to obtain a value of R-60 if you want to obtain a high level of energy efficiency.
The results of adding insulation to your attic can be dramatic. For example, if you have a completely bare, uninsulated attic, you could experience a 30% or higher reduction in heating and cooling costs by adding the minimum amount of insulation recommended by DOE.
Even if your attic is already insulated, you may still experience significant energy savings by adding additional insulation. The amount you can save depends on the type and amount of insulation you have. The R-value of insulation in typical homes ranges from R-2.5 to R-3.5 per inch. Assuming your home is in the middle of this range, you can calculate your current attic insulation R-value by measuring your attic insulation thickness in inches and multiplying that measurement by 3.0.
For example, if you measure 4 inches of insulation, your current R-value could be estimated as 4-inches x 3.0 R-per inch, or R-12. In this case, you would need to install additional attic insulation to reach the recommended range of R-38 to R-60.
Atlanta Attic Insulation - How Much Money Can I Save?
A revealing study on the issue of attic insulation and energy savings was recently conducted by the Department of Energy. In this study, an average R-value of R-13 was assumed for homes in the south, like your Atlanta home. The study concluded that adding attic insulation in conjunction with sealing air leaks throughout a typical house could save 20% in heating and cooling costs, which would translate to a 10% savings in total energy costs.
How Do I Know If My Atlanta Roof Needs More Vents?
If you spend just a few seconds in your attic during July, you know that it feels like an oven up there. Installing a balanced combination of soffit vents and exhaust vents in your roof can relieve the heat load on your attic insulation and your air conditioner.
If you don't see any vents in your soffits or roof, then it's a good idea to contact a roofing contractor to design and install roof vents for your Atlanta home. Even if you already have roof vents, it's not a bad idea to have a roofing company evaluate them to verify they are properly sized and matched for your roof. Keep in mind that roof vents are ineffective for creating air circulation without a matched set of intake/soffit vents.
More Energy Efficient Atlanta Home Renovations
Although addressing the heat in your attic is crucial, there are even more ways to achieve energy savings in your home. Two effective and attractive ways to make your Atlanta home more energy efficient are listed below.
Energy Efficient Atlanta Home Improvements - Start Saving Energy Today
Energy efficiency is more important today than ever before. Findlay Roofing is proud to be part of the solution, and we are ready to help you start saving energy today by installing attic insulation, roof vents and performing other energy efficient home renovations.
If you would like to learn more about energy efficient home improvements in Atlanta and north Georgia, we encourage you to contact us any time. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and provide you with a free estimate for your energy efficient home improvement project.