How to Cool a Hot Attic During the Summer?

Have you ever gone up to your attic during the summer and instantly been overwhelmed by the extreme hot air in your attic? Are you tired of the extreme monthly energy bills caused by your air conditioning working its best to keep your house at a comfortable temperature?

While we all enjoy the summer heat, there is another side to it. Extremely hot temperatures can cause a melting hot roof, which can lead to roof leaks, water damage, higher energy bills, and a shorter lifespan for your HVAC system. A hot attic may be at the top of the list for uncomfortable temperatures throughout the rest of your home.

Below, we’ve put together an informative guide on how to cool a hot attic during the summer.

How to Cool a Hot Attic During the Summer

Table of Contents

Is it Normal for an Attic to Be Hot?

Ideally, the temperature in your attic should be very close to the outside temperature, give or take ten degrees. If your attic is too hot during the summer or not within this temperature range, some components of your home may begin to deteriorate quicker than in ideal conditions. Things like your roof or HVAC begin to overheat/overwork, shortening their lifespan. An attic is prone to overheating even if the temperature outside isn’t overbearing if it lacks proper insulation, attic fans, attic air sealing, and attic ventilation.

Whether you live in hotter climates or in New Jersey, you’ll want to ensure your attic is adequately insulated and ventilated to protect your home and reduce energy bills.

Why is My Attic Hot During the Summer?

How Do You Cool a Hot Attic During the Summer

To find effective ways to keep an attic cool in the summer, we must examine why our attics overheat in the first place. Here are some reasons why your attic is hot during the summer.

Hot Roof

While we know heat rises, attics absorb a lot of heat from the rooftop. While roofs can block and absorb a lot of heat from reaching the interior of your home, some heat will get in. Even attics with encapsulation and extra layers of insulation can still absorb the summer heat from the inside and outside of your home.

Poor Ventilation

Another factor that contributes to a hot attic is poor ventilation. Adequate ventilation allows the heat in your attic to exit your home, creating a cooler, more comfortable environment. Since heat always rises, ventilation plays a vital role in reducing the amount of heat in your attic.

Poor Insulation

Heat tends to build up in an insulated attic, which would worsen without insulation. When attics have improper insulation, they can absorb extra heat from the roof and the first floor, increasing the risk of a fire and heat damage. Good insulation helps prevent cool air from escaping through leaks, which forces your HVAC system to work overtime and decreases a home’s energy efficiency.

Heat Travels

When someone builds a home, insulation is installed along the walls, floors, and ceilings to create a thermal envelope. 

With a thermal envelope in your home, hot air becomes displaced by cooler air and travels to the highest space available in the home. In many homes, unfinished attics are the highest point of a house, as hot air rises, your attic overheats.

How Do You Cool a Hot Attic During the Summer?

Why is My Attic Hot During the Summer

Now that you’re aware of the reasons your attic is hot during the summer, you probably want to take action to find the best solution to cool it off. You may have questions about your roof or attic insulation to prioritize attic cooling. Here are several ways to cool a hot attic during the summer. 

1. Attic Ventilation

Depending on the structure of your home, attic ventilation allows the hot air in your attic to escape naturally. This ventilation occupies strategic areas such as gable vents, saffits in the attic, and provides an effective solution without compromising your attic’s insulation. To learn more about attic ventilation options, contact your local attic professional. 

2. Attic Insulation

Another way to cool a hot attic during the summer is by having efficient attic insulation. Proper attic insulation is one of the easiest and best solutions to this problem. It ensures all the a.c cool air below in your home cannot rise up and escape through the ceiling into the attic and mix with hot air.

3. Attic Fans

Attic fans can reduce the temperature in your home by almost 50 degrees. These fans are a cost effective solution to keeping your attic and the rest of your home cool during those scorching summer days, prolonging the life of your roof and AC. Various types of attic fans you can choose from to cool your attic are:

  • Solar fans
  • Electric attic fans
  • Wind-powered turbines

Attics fans are not only an excellent choice to cool your attic, but they can also help maintain the integrity of your roof shingles, preventing deterioration. Many homeowners are unaware that an attic with poor ventilation can also accelerate shingle warping.  

4. Attic Air Sealing

Attic air sealing involves filling the gaps and holes in your attic to prevent hot air from entering. Air leaks are challenging to locate, but if your home is losing its cool air quickly, it’s most likely escaping from your attic. One of the most effective ways to cool your hot attic during the summer is by air sealing.

Air sealing provides several benefits, including temperature regulation and minimal dust buildup. In addition, attic air sealing can improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your monthly energy bill, providing a relaxed and comfortable environment for you and your family.

5. Radiant Barriers

Roofs with shingles are known to absorb heat from the hot sun. Not all homeowners have the luxury of installing a new roof. Attic professionals recommend installing a radiant barrier to reflect solar rays and prevent the hot air from getting into your attic and home.

If you’re worried about walking space and storage, attic professionals can install a radiant barrier under your roof. This barrier cools your attic by trapping hot air between the roof and the radiant barrier. A radiant barrier can cool your attic by up to 30 degrees and provide energy savings.

The effectiveness of a radiant barrier relies on proper installation, so it’s best to use an attic expert for installation. It’s essential to note that installing a radiant barrier on top of attic floor insulation can result in dust accumulation and trapped moisture.

What is the Best Way to Cool a Roof?

Summers in the northeast can certainly be unforgiven, with the hot sun rays coming down harshly. On a typical summer day, your roof can become hot, even up to 50 degrees hotter than the outdoor temperatures. When your roof becomes hot from the sun, it can affect the temperature of your whole home.

 

No matter how much you run your air conditioning system, it’s doubtful your home will cool down. Here are some of the best ways to cool a roof during the summer:

 

  • Have a lighter color roof
  • Increase the shade on your roof
  • Update attic insulation
  • Solar panels
  • Roof misting system
  • Solar reflective tiles and shingles

Cool Your Attic With Master Attic!

Attics are essential to many homes, providing an environment to store family heirlooms, so preventing them from becoming hot during the summer is critical. The great news is there are ways you can cool your attic to lower the temperature in your home and put more savings in your pocket each year.

 

If you’re concerned about the hot air in your attic, contact us today to find the best solution to help make your home more energy efficient and save on monthly energy costs!

Cool a Hot Attic: FAQ

Ideally, the temperature in your attic should be very close to the outside temperature, give or take ten degrees. If your attic is too hot during the summer or not within this temperature range, you may begin to see damage to your home.

Your attic might be hot during the summer because of a hot roof, poor ventilation, and heat traveling upwards.

To get rid of rodents in your attic, you should have an attic cleanup followed by rodent-proofing services to ensure rodents remain outdoors.

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