Hello everyone and welcome to another Happy Friday. When we think of insulating a home most people’s minds go to the typical insulation that is usually found in an attic. It can be either batted rolled out fiberglass with a paper backing or blown in style using fiberglass or recycled newspaper. This method of insulation works well and has been the norm for many years. As with everything in the HVAC world (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), as our knowledge of how a building performs evolves we come up with new and more efficient ways to heat and cool our structures.
In a typical attic scenario, you have soffit vents around the entire perimeter of the home. These vents come in different shapes and sizes and are designed to let the attic breathe and help expel some of the heat that builds up in the attic. This again is a very traditional building method. This method also comes with some drawbacks, dust and allergens in the home being one of the biggest.
I can hear you asking already why and how does my attic let dust and dirt into my home. I won’t bore you with a long drawn out science lesson, so to keep it simple, it’s all about holes in the walls and ceilings. Look around your house and everywhere you see a light fixture, light switch, outlet, or any other penetration in a wall or ceiling those openings lead directly to the attic. What happens involves negative air pressure. Most homes and buildings are under a smaller amount of negative pressure which causes outdoor air to pull into the attic and then come down the walls and mingle with our otherwise conditioned air. Add in your typical leaky duct system pulling in air from the attic and you end up with a very dusty home.
Today’s new construction methods are going in a different direction when it comes to the attic, and this method can also be employed in existing homes. Traditional soffits are eliminated as well as traditional insulation and we turn to two part expanding thermal foam as the insulator for our home. This method completely isolates the structure from the outdoors, and the attic becomes part of the conditioned space. The foam is installed five to six inches thick on the interior of the roof deck and bypasses are created to allow the attic air to comingle with the air in the living space. The end result is a well insulated home with much better indoor air quality.
Again, this method in our climate zone does come with a minor drawback, because of our very high humidity levels. Once more, no long drawn out science lesson, however when a home is insulated in this manor, we oftentimes need to install a dehumidifier in the attic space to prevent humidity from stacking there and causing other issues in our abode.
In closing, if you have indoor air quality concerns, areas that are warmer or cooler than other areas in the home, or you are just interested in lowering your utilities bill give a click at www.artplumbingandac.com, give us a ring at 1-800-475-1504, or drop me an email THW@artplumbingandac.com and let us show you how you we can make the indoor environment of your home cooler, more comfortable and dust free. Until next week, stay thirsty my friends.
House Whisperer out!!!
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