How Attic Insulation Keeps Your House Cool Throughout the Summer
When people think of what the insulation in their attic does for them, most imagine a frigid winter evening. As the snow is whipping around outside, the insulation in their roof acts as their blanket, keeping the cold out and the warmth in.
But attic insulation is more than a wintertime friend. It’s an all-year-round ally, working through the summer to keep you and your home cool.
Why does attic insulation keep the heat away?
In essence, attic insulation minimizes the amount of heat that’s able to pass between the inside and outside of your home. During the winter you want your insulation to retain heat and make sure it stays inside, while during the summer it’s all about keeping the hot air out and the cool air in.
To really understand insulation, you need to know about the three types of heat:
Conduction is when heat passes through materials, like when you accidentally leave a metal ladle resting on a hot pot of soup or a spoon in a cup of coffee.
Convection happens when heat circulates through liquids or gases. It’s the reason why warmer air (which is lighter) rises, while the cooler and heavier air sinks.
Radiant heat travels in straight lines and warms anything solid that’s in its way and ready to absorb the energy. The sun produces this type of heat, as do many of the heat sources in our homes (like fireplaces and furnaces).
When the sun’s energy hits your roof, it transmits radiant heat. That heat travels by conduction into your attic as your roof becomes hot. If its passage isn’t slowed or reduced, it can cause the air inside your home to become warmer (convection).
This is where the insulation in your attic comes in, acting as a barrier to reduce the amount of heat that’s able to come in or leave.
What are the benefits of replacing the insulation in your attic before the winter?
1. Easier Installation
The best time to address under-insulated spaces in your attic is when your roof is being worked on. After the shingles are removed, your roofer can strip off the sheet of plywood to ensure easy access for the necessary machines and tools, which means a cleaner and more cost effective installation for you.
Ideally, you want to schedule a roof replacement (or any other necessary work) during the spring, summer, or fall before the cold temperatures and challenging conditions typically hit. Problems, however, don’t always wait for good weather. If your roof or insulation needs attention in the wintertime, work with an experienced roofer to ensure they’re properly looked after.
2. Warmer Winter
Waiting for too long can leave your house exposed to the elements, which will make it cold and uncomfortable to be in. Ensuring you have the right insulation in place when you need it will help your house regulate its temperature all year — helping it stay cozy in the winter and cool throughout the summer.