Welcome back to another end of the week and Happy Friday everyone. Let’s start today with an interesting question; why is one of the most important places in the typical single family home often the one that is ignored the most? I of course am talking about your attic.
When was the last time you gave any thought to the attic and what is really going on up there? I can’t tell you the number of times when I ask where the attic access is I get the response “Wow you’re going up there, I’ve never seen what’s there. I know that sounds crazy, however, it once again proves the out of sight out of mind theory.
The attic really is the heart and soul of most South Florida homes, especially since we don’t in general have basements. I have, however, seen two communities that do make use of going underground. One in deep south Dade County, and another group of homes in the Boynton area that were built on a man made hill so they are high enough above the water table to actually make a basement work. I digress, so let’s make our way back to the attic.
What’s up in the attic you ask? Well for starters plumbing, electrical wires, cable wires, alarm wires, recessed ceiling can lights, exhaust fans, air conditioning ductwork, and of course insulation, or there should be. The attic is also the place where you can lose the most amount of money and not even be aware of it. Last week I talked about duct types and leakage, and as a reminder the DOE (Department of Energy) states on their website that proper sealing of ductwork is the quickest way to save money in the attic.
Now let’s forget all the other stuff in the attic and take a look at the insulation. Florida building codes for new construction used to be that the attic would be insulated to R19 (5” – 6”). That means that all the houses that were built in the boom of the 2000’s are all under insulated by today’s standards. Florida building code is constantly changing, and in 2015 the standard insulation levels for new construction became R30 (12”). Once again back to the DOE, we are climate Zone 1 and the recommendation for insulation levels is bumped up even further to R49 (18”). Attic insulation is a guaranteed return on investment as long as you are going to be in the home 7-9 years, which is the typical payback on the insulation investment on a typical 2,000 sq. ft. home.
We use the Owens Corning ProCat insulation system and will either remove all the existing insulation or go over what’s already there depending on the type. Again, according to Owens Corning, proper levels of attic insulation will reduce your air conditioners electrical use by a minimum of 20%, which of course is where the payback comes in. As with anything, all the parts of your house work together in harmony, so insulating alone may not give you the best possible scenario in terms of energy efficiency, however, it is the perfect place to start.
It’s time for me to fly, literally, as I’m off to Memphis to further my education and see what Tempstar has in terms of their newest offerings. If you are concerned about anything that is going on in your attic drop me an email at THW@artplumbingandac.com, schedule an attic inspection at www.artplumbingandac.com or gives us a call at 1-800-475-1504.
Until we meet next week, House Whisperer out!!