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Larry Janesky, founder of Dr. Energy Saver, was recently in Florida helping a homeowner solve a problem many other homeowners in the southeast have and don't even know about: ducts in the attic. While these ducts are sometimes used for heating during the winter, most of the year they are used for cooling in the warmer areas of the country. They distribute cool air throughout the house.
The problem with having ducts in the attic in these areas is that, as the sun shines relentlessly over the roof during the hot days of summer, regular roof shingles absorb a lot of heat from the sun and that heat is transferred to the attic. On hot days, the temperatures in the attic can be as high as 140 or 150 degrees.
When typical ducts, used to distribute cool air throughout the house are located in the attic, and are improperly insulated and air sealed, the air that you paid to cool down to 50 degrees, is running through metal ducts that are baking at 140 degrees in the attic! The air will be heated again, before it reaches the rooms in the house.
As a result, your air conditioner system will work harder, more often, and your home will still be uncomfortable. Ducts that run through the attic need to be thoroughly air sealed and insulated.
For this particular job, Larry opted for using spray foam to insulate and air seal the ducts, and the connections between ducts and drywall ceiling. While newer homes, built with energy efficiency in mind, will have ducts running through conditioned areas to prevent heat gain and loss, older homes can be made energy efficient with proper duct air sealing and insulation.
For more information about how to save energy through sealing and insulating air ducts, or for more energy saving tips, visit our website or call Dr. Energy Saver for a comprehensive home energy audit!