With a little planning, you won't have to spend a lot to stay comfortable in the Delaware and Pennsylvania area's humid summers. Simple attic and basement improvements can keep your home cooler so you can enjoy lower energy bills all season.
Block Wasteful Air Leaks
Both your attic and basement hide air leaks that let in hot air, humidity, and air contaminants from outdoors. Sealing these leaks improves your comfort and reduces your air conditioner's work load, lowering your energy bills.
In the attic, seal around the access hatch, wiring holes, chimneys, knee walls, dropped soffits, and ventilation fans. You can seal around the attic hatch using rigid foam board and weatherstripping. To seal around chimneys, you'll need metal flashing and heat-resistant caulk.
Boost Your Insulation
Adding insulation is another of the most cost-effective attic and basement improvements. If your attic floor already has 3 or 4 inches of insulation, add another R-38 to R-49 layer to optimize the insulation for the Delaware area's climate.
In the basement, start by insulating the rim joists. You can do this by cutting sections of rigid foam insulation to fit against the rim joists in the spaces between the floor joists. Seal these in place by running a bead of caulk around the edges.
Improve Your Ventilation
In summer, attic ventilation releases built up heat and keeps your attic cooler so less heat ends up in your living space. It also helps in winter by reducing risk of moisture and mold problems. Most attics do best with a continuous ridge-and-soffit system and need around 1 sq. ft. of vent opening per 150 sq. ft. of attic floor space. If you find your attic has no ventilation, or either ridge vents or soffit vents, but not both, consult a heating and cooling technician about adding more vents.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.Photo Credit: unsplash/Pixabay