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How a Hot Attic Can Affect Your AC System’s Performance

How hot does your attic get during the summer? Attics, of course, are typically hotter than lower floors because of the physics of hot air. Hot air has a lower density than cold air, which creates an upwards force. When hot air meets cold air, the former will rise above the latter.

As the hot air in your home rises, your attic will inevitably become hotter. It’s not uncommon for attics to reach temperatures of up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. While a hot attic may seem harmless enough, it can affect your air conditioning system’s performance.

The Impact of a Hot Attic

The hotter your attic, the more your air conditioning system will have to work to cool your home. Air conditioning systems typically don’t cool attics. Your air conditioning system may have supply vents for all lower-level rooms, but it probably doesn’t have any supply vents for the attic. Therefore, running your air conditioning system won’t cool the attic.

With no conditioned air flowing to it, your attic’s temperature during the summer can quickly rise. Some of this heat may then pass through the floor or walls while being absorbed by the other rooms inside of your home. This means your air conditioning system will have to consume more energy to cool your home.

A hot attic does more than just force your air conditioning system to consume more energy; it promotes premature wear and tear. Your air conditioning system will have to run longer if the attic is hot. All of this running can cause some of its parts to fail prematurely.

Ways to Cool Down Your Attic

There are a few things you can do to cool down your attic. If there are windows in your attic, for instance, covering them with curtains can make a positive difference in the temperature. There are curtains that are designed specifically to block the transfer of solar heat. Known as solar curtains or blackout curtains, they’ll prevent sunlight from beaming through the windows and heating up your attic.

You can also install a ventilation system to regulate the temperature of your attic during the summer. Attic ventilation systems are designed to transfer hot air inside of an attic to the outdoors through the use of exhaust vents. Exhaust vents are placed on the roof or side of a home where they connect to the attic. With that said, some attic ventilation systems feature intake vents. Intake vents are designed to transfer cool air into the attic.