Part II: Increase Attic Intake Ventilation to Drastically Cut Cooling Costs

Is the top floor of your house a little too hot during the summer? Ours was, due to an acute lack of attic ventilation. This caused a significant heat buildup during the day that our air conditioner just couldn’t keep up with.

The second step to improving our attic ventilation was to increase the intake ventilation under the eaves. This project was inexpensive and completed incrementally over the course of several weekends.

The results of the increased ventilation were immediately felt by human and cat alike in a cooler upstairs. We were also surprised by a 25% decrease in that month’s electric bill compared to the previous year, a savings that has continued over subsequent months of A/C usage.

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Part I: Increase Attic Exhaust Ventilation to Drastically Cut Cooling Costs

Is the top floor of your house a little too hot during the summer? Ours was, due to an acute lack of attic ventilation. This caused a significant heat buildup during the day that our air conditioner just couldn’t keep up with.

The first step to improving our attic ventilation was to install a ridge vent on our roof. This project was relatively straightforward, inexpensive, and I completed it in a day. I only had to return to the big box store once, too.

The results of the increased ventilation were immediately felt by human and cat alike in a cooler upstairs. We were also surprised by a 25% decrease in that month’s electric bill compared to the previous year, a savings that has continued over subsequent months of A/C usage.

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Part IX: Keep your Attic Cool with Ventilation Baffles

One task that needs to be completed before adding more blown-in insulation is to install attic ventilation baffles. Once finished we’ll be able to completely cover the attic floor, which will give us the best performance from the new insulation.

Currently we have a reasonable amount of old blown-in insulation that (mostly) covers the attic floor. An exception is along the external walls near the top plate, which is evident in the summer when that part of the ceiling is noticeably warmer than along the interior. (See my FLIR ONE for iOS post for proof!)

With the baffles installed we’ll have an even thicker layer of insulation with more consistent coverage. We also won’t need to worry about blocking the soffit vents so that our attic can passively vent. Hopefully the top floor of our house will stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer as a result.

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Part VII: Seal Ductwork to Keep Moisture out of Your Attic

Ducts that leak conditioned air into unconditioned spaces (such as your attic) can increase your heating and cooling bills.

Fear not, you can prevent that unnecessary waste by sealing and insulating your ducts with some inexpensive supplies and a little bit of effort.

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Clean your Air Conditioner Condenser to Save Money

One easy way to save money on your summer electric bills is to make sure that your air conditioner’s condenser is free of debris. Most people don’t pay any attention to the yearly buildup of yard waste on the their condenser’s coil fins.

All that built-up gunk inhibits the air flow through the coils, which is needed to cool the warmed refrigerant from within your house. When the coils are obstructed the condenser works harder, which increases your electric bill!

Having recently purchased our home, we had no idea about the maintenance history of our air conditioner condenser. That said, it only took a glance to see all the accumulated dirt on the coil fins.

Here are the steps I took to clean our condenser for improved energy efficiency.

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