Living in Oakland, CA during the hottest stretch of the summer can be uncomfortable. Many homeowners turn straight to their ACs, which help to create conditioned air that keeps us cool on even the hottest days of the year. While plenty of Oakland residents focus on getting their air conditioning units in good working order, the importance of maintaining good indoor air quality.
Most older homes in El Cerrito, Albany, San Rafael and surrounding areas were constructed without any attic insulation, and many still don’t have any! Installing attic insulation is a low-cost measure that has positive effects on the energy consumption and livability of your home.
Attic insulation can make or break a home’s heating and cooling efficiency. Poorly insulated attics mean your home is less comfortable and more expensive to heat and cool.
Stack Effect & Attic Efficiency
Because of the tendency for warm air to rise out the top of a home, the attic is the biggest priority for insulation installation, especially in older homes that need insulation everywhere. In a home that is not properly air sealed or insulated, air flow behaves according to something called the Stack Effect, a process in which cold air:
- Cycles in through the basement.
- Flows up into the home, where it is warmed.
- Travels up and out through the attic, while new, cold air pushes in from the basement.
The Stack Effect is seriously undesirable for homeowners since it means a
continual cycle of lost energy and air. Even homes that were built more recently, or retrofitted, can have major insulation flaws that cost energy and cause discomfort. Effective insulation and ventilation in the attic stops this cycle, so warmer air stays in your home, cool air stays in your basement, and treated air doesn’t escape through the attic.
Fixing Poor Attic Insulation
Hassler’s team of professionals goes above and beyond to make sure your attic isn’t costing you energy. We like to start with an energy audit to determine the key areas of energy inefficiency in your home, and then come up with a strategy for solving the weak spots in your attic. Our key services include:
Though a number of materials can be used to insulate attics, Hassler recommends blow-in cellulose fiber insulation for most traditional attics. Cellulose is made from recycled material, has fewer chemicals than other insulation materials, and is moderately priced and relatively easy to install.
In most cases, it is very important to have your attic air sealed. This seals up cracks and gaps in your attic, effectively stopping conditioned air from leaking out of the home and the into the attic.
If you open the entrance to your attic and can see the top of your ceiling joists, chances are you need more attic insulation.