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Originally published in “Leawood Lifestyle” (Jul 2010)

"My Attic’s Hot:
If I DID Care, What Could I do About It?"

Really, what does attic heat have to do with anything?  My house is insulated, right?

How Hot Is My Attic, and Why Should I Care?
From late spring through late summer, attics around here routinely reach temperatures between 130ºF and 150ºF.  According to the science, when attic temps exceed 120ºF, heat begins to radiate into our living space, even if the attic’s insulated.  In other words, your roof—which should be acting like a parasol to keep the heat off your home—is actually super-heating the air in your attic.

Installing proper intake vents
is key to proper ventilation.
When heat is radiating into your living space, not only do you and your family members feel it, but so does your thermostat, which then properly calls for the A/C to turn on (the highest energy-user).
So, proper attic venting is important, affecting both your comfort and your family budget:

--in the summer, your house is warmer than it should be
--your air conditioning compressor works longer and more often, potentially shortening its life
--you’re paying more to cool your home than you should be!
--the life of your shingles is shortened (new-shingle warranties are tied to proper attic ventilation)

Solar Solution:  Get the heat out!
The best solution is to ventilate the attic with a powered attic vent (passive convection does not remove the heat).  Turbines help, but only when the wind is blowing.  Only an electric- or solar-powered vent will constantly pull the air through your attic, keeping the temperature below that 120ºF threshold. 

We prefer the solar-powered kind.  There’s no wiring (it’s solar-powered!), and it’s installed in about an hour.  Plus, fans like the Solar Star® qualify for a no-limit 30% Federal Tax Credit!  We call the Solar Star® the coolest, quickest, easiest energy-saving product you can put on your home!’

Here’s some free tips to more efficiently cool your home!
FIRST, find the switch on your thermostat that controls the FAN.  Most are set to AUTO; move it to ON.  This turns on the blower-fan motor (it does NOT turn on your a/c compressor).  It will now constantly circulate air throughout your home.  You’ll then experience fewer hot and cold spots in your home, and a lower average temperature. 

NEXT, if you have ceiling fans, try reversing them to draw air UP instead of blowing down.  This pulls the heavy, cool air up toward the ceiling, forcing the lighter, warm air down the walls into the air-return vents, where—now that your blower-fan is running—it will mix with the heavy, cold air and come out the vents cooler than normal.  Again, lower average temp in the summer, less hot and cold spots.
Just like the previous advice for cooling your home, our In-Home Consultations are FREE. Call 913/469.8100 to get started!

Be Cool!
Sam Kane
Chief Daylighter
Solar Solutions of Kansas City


‘Solar Star®: The Attic Vent-Fan That Pays for Itself’


Solar Solutions of Kansas City          PO Box 11331           Overland Park, KS 66207           (913) 469-8100 

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