How to Cool a Hot Attic

Keep your attic from boiling over with these venting and insulating tips.

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Foil Covered Air Conditioning Ducts

An unventilated attic can reach 150 degrees in the heat of summer -- 50 degrees higher than it should be. An overheated attic can bake asphalt shingles on the roof and cause them to deteriorate. And it can cause your air conditioner to work harder than it needs to and send your energy bills soaring with the temperature. To head off these problems, consider these options for bringing your attic's temperature down:

  • Install electric ventilators and attic fans, which remove hot air from an attic. They have thermostats that turn the fan on at a recommended preset temperature of 100-110 degrees.

  • Alternatively, install passive vents such as gable, soffit and ridge vents, which are openings in the roof that allow hot air to escape.

  • No matter what ventilation system you go with, make sure there's one square foot of venting area for every 300 square feet of floor space.

  • Install attic insulation with an R-factor of at least 19. This will help keep the hot attic air from heating your living space.

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