The 8 Best Ways to Cool a Hot Attic (You Must Try These DIYs)

A hot attic can be a very troublesome and frustrating problem. If you’re looking for ways to cool your attic then you’re at the right place. 

As an HVAC technician, I have helped dozens of people in the past with their attics problems. From experience, I know what’re the best solutions you can try to cool your attic.

And In this guide, I’ve listed them all. Make sure to read till the end to know about all the possible solutions.

8 Best Ways to Cool a Hot Attic

1. Seal All The Gaps In your Attic:

This is one of the best ways you can keep your attic cool. This problem is one of the most common and overlooked problems that can cause a hot attic. Most people think that it’s just a gap or crack how much heat will pass through it.

Most people don’t know that even two or three holes are enough to make your whole attic hot. Most people ignore this problem and even after installing the attic fan and ac they’re not seeing desired results. 

So the first thing you must do is to seal all the holes/gaps in your attic with a good sealing material. Make sure that it is all weatherproof. You don’t want your crack to open during winters or the rainy season.

Rain can also do damage to your attics. Constant water flowing into the attic can cause rusting and decaying. So make sure you’re using the all-weather sealing material.

2. Installing an Air Conditioner unit

Installing a portable air conditioner can help you in decreasing your attic temperature. This can be one of the most effective methods to cool your attic down. Portable air conditioners can be very effective they don’t require any accessories like central ac units.

All you need is a portable ac unit and power supply. But some people will say that this is out of their budget. I can understand that a good portable ac unit can cost anywhere from $200-$1000.

And if you’re not willing to invest in the portable ac unit then the next option in this list can be a very good alternative. 

3. Installing Attic Fan

So what an attic fan does is it takes out all the heat from your attic during the summer season. Installing an attic fan can be a very good option for keeping your attic low on temperature.

Attic fans are not that expensive they cost around $75-$300. You can either install them by yourself or call an HVAC company to do that. Installation charges vary in different states. But the standard charge is around $100 for installation.

Attic fans are one of the best options for those who can’t afford portable ac units. After installing an attic fan you’ll see the difference yourself. Most of the houses nowadays have an attic fan installed. So you must try it if you want to lower your attic temperature.

4. Air Seal the Recessed light Cover and Attic Hatch Cover

Air sealing the hatch cover and the recessed light is one of the most important factors that can help in reducing the attic temperature. Most people don’t really seal these two and this can lead to rising temperature in the attic. This is the most overlooked thing that can help you immensely. So make sure to air seal these two things and you’ll see a drastic change in temperature.

5. Installing the Ridge Vent

This is also a common and basic thing that most people overlook. If you’re going to install a radiant barrier or solar attic fan then you must install the ridge vent. The ridge vent will help you in lowering the temperature. 

6. Installing the Radiant Barrier 

A radiant barrier is common nowadays every roofing company recommends doing it. By installing the radiant barrier you can lower the temperature of the attic very significantly.

A radiant barrier is made from highly reflective materials and it reflects the radiant heat from the sun. Installing a radiant barrier correctly is also very important. Some contractors just lay the radiant barrier and it is not a good way to do it.

It can cause moisture problems in the future and can lead to mold growth. You need to make sure that the radiant barrier is installed only on the roof and you must leave some space between the roof and the barrier. 

By installing the radiant barrier you’ll see a significant drop in the temperature in your attic. 

7. Installing Good Attic Ventilation

Having good ventilation can make really huge difference. A good ventilated attic will have a much lower temperature than a non-ventilated one. You should also know about different types of vents and fans for ventilation.  

The first type of vent is a Soft Fit vent: This type of vent is installed underneath the eaves of the roof. The soffit vent allows fresh air to come into the attic. There are two types of soffit vents Continuous and individual. Individual vents are the most common and most used vents on the market. Continuous soffit vents have recently become popular in the market as they allow the most amount of fresh air in your attic.

The second type of vent is a gable vent: Gable vents are most commonly used and installed in the gable roof. Gable roofs are easy to spot as they have one long ridge spanning the roof and gable vents are installed on both ends of the roof.   

8. Improving Attic’s Insulation:

Having proper insulation in the house can be very important it can keep your house hot in winter and cold in summer and will also save you on energy bills. Insulation can be measured through the R-value.

What is R-Value In the Insulation?

R-Value is a material’s capacity to resist the transfer of heat loss. The R-value of a material is affected by these factors:

  • Type of material (more on this shortly)
  • Thickness
  • Density
  • Where and how it’s installed

The higher the R-value the better it will trap heat. US energy department recommends maintaining the following overall R-Value levels in your attic:

  • R30 in hot climates (like California)
  • R38 in temperate climates (this is typically the desired level for residences in California)
  • R49 in cold climates (note: if you live in a region where the temperature regularly drops to very low, maintaining a specific R-Value in your attic may be required by state law)

Different types of attic insulation:

  1. Cellulose
  2. Fiberglass
  3. Foam
  4. Cotton
  5. Mineral Wool

R-Value Comparison:

  • Fiberglass: R-value per inch: 2.2–2.7. The fiberglass insulation is made from Recycled glass or sand that’s melted and spun into fibers.
  • Cellulose: R-value per inch: 3.2–3.8. The fiberglass insulation is made of Fibers from recycled post-consumer paper that are treated for insect and fire resistance.
  • Mineral wool: R-value per inch: 3.0–3.3. The mineral wool is made of fibers from rock or recycled slag from blast furnaces. 
  • Cotton: R-value per inch: 3.7–3.8. The cotton insulation is made of fibers from recycled denim clothes.
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