Most homes have their heating and cooling duct work running in either an attic space or a basement space, most of which are unfinished areas. What happens then when your furnace starts running? It has to warm up those cold metal air ducts first before a good consistent flow of warm air can reach your rooms.
- According to Owens Corning, an insulated heat duct will “Gain 75% more energy efficiency than plain sheet metal ducts”
- Reduce air leaks. An insulated duct is sealed up to 8 times better than metal ducts.
- Reduce much of the household noise that spreads through the duct system between rooms.
- Eliminate those annoying pops sounds caused by metal ducts as they heat and expand and contract.
Do you have an attic space you are thinking of finishing off? This is a great way to add some nice square footage to your home. But don’t forget about insulation. Many times the roof itself is not insulated since the attic floor probably has insulation on it. Since your going to be finishing this space, at least some of this insulation may have to be removed and placed directly under the roof of the the home. Generally you’d have to place an air space between your roll of insulation and the the roof. This would allow air to flow between the space.
With spray foam insulation the inside of your attic roof can be directly sprayed without having to have this vent space. This allows you to place more insulation into the area. The spray foam will also more completely cover the area, leaving to small gaps for unwanted air to enter or escape. Note: Some contractors still disagree with this practice, so please be sure and do your own research on this method of attic insulation.
While many folks put icicle lights on their roof for decoration. Many people have natural icicles on their roof. Why do some homes form icicles when other do not? It’s all about heat – well escaping heat really. The roof does not have enough insulation so heat is escaping and melting the snow. The melted snow runs down the roof until it gets to the edge. Now the edge of the roof is not so warm (as there is no heat escaping under the edge), and so the melted snow then freezes. Frozen water is then…you guessed it – ice. A little bit of ice and a few icicles is probably nothing to worry about. It’s when lots of snow comes that the problem arises.
Here in the Midwest, we just got hit with our first big snowfall. It can be interesting as you drive around to note which homes get icicles and which homes do not. I find generally any home older than 30-40 years old has a much higher chance of having a poorly insulated/ventilated attic.
Treat the symptom, or fix the problem.
To help with the problem, you can use either a roof rake and keep the edge of the roof clear from snow. You can install heating cables along the edge of the roof which will then melt the ice.
To fix the problem, the attic temperature needs to be cooled, by ventilation and prevention of heat loss from your home. Find a local contractor in your area who will help you diagnose the problem and have a solution as well. A good place to start might be with an insulation contractor. If you attic is easily accessible it could be as easy as rolling out some extra insulation.