February 8, 2011Keywords Meta-Tag
I've gotten a few questions about my recent article called "Breathe Easy: The Importance of Free Airflow In Your Home" for WRAL.com.
In the article, I talk about sealing crawl spaces, and the value it brings to not only the quality of the air in your home, but also in energy savings by reducing wear and tear on your HVAC system. When heating and air ducts are under the home, air flow takes away from efficiency in both summer and winter. This is one reason that the more modern thought is to seal crawl spaces so that heat is retained in the winter and cool air doesn't escape in the summer. If the sealing is done properly, moisture from the ground doesn't reach the framing members and cause them to rot.
One of the questions I've gotten since then is "What about the attic? Should that be sealed too?"
Sealing an attic space has always been considered a mistake, and that philosophy hasn't changed. Temperatures in the attic are extremely high in hot weather and without air circulation, framing members and decking will become distressed and the life span of the wood and some types of roofing will be shortened immensely. While its important to insulate your attic properly, the attic should still have proper ventilation and air circulation.
Air circulation in the attic is imperative to lower the pressure cooker heat that will build up if the area is sealed. Other measures can be incorporated to lower the attic heat, but you cannot pass up the importance of free air movement in this area of the home.
If you are in doubt as to the harmony of your home in relation to air flow, ask a professional for an assessment of your individual situation. You may find that you can save substantial money in the long term through upgrades while controlling waste at the same time.