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High electricity bill? Have you thought about your attic?

Centre de Thermographie du Canada
High electricity bill - facture élevée

Contrary to what you see in the movies, the attic is not just for playing hide-and-seek or storing old boxes. Rather, the attic is a place where many air leaks can increase your electricity bill. The attic can account for up to 25% of heat loss in a home. Fortunately for homeowners, the solution is simple, inexpensive and quick.


1. Many potential air leaks

Air can escape through the smallest hole possible; cable holes, pipes, plumbing vents, attic hatches and recessed light fixtures. Every little hole is a hole that will increase your electricity bill. Did you know that for every cubic foot of air that escapes, a cubic foot of outside air enters the house. This creates abnormal and uncomfortable drafts.

2.Your attic is crossed by conduits

If your attic has air exchanger or heat pump pipes running through it, you need to make sure that the area around them is well insulated and sealed. In other words, a poorly insulated or sealed pipe leads to moisture that can eventually lead to energy loss. Moisture in your home leads to mold. Finally, the air you heat for comfort is used to heat the roof of your home. So you are wasting energy and money to heat your home.

3. Your chimney may be poorly insulated

Who doesn’t dream of warming up with a fireplace after a long winter walk. However, your fireplace could also be a heat loss item. If your chimney is old and runs through the attic, you may have problems. As mentioned in point 3, the heat from the chimney warms up the attic and thus melts the snow on the roof into ice. Finally, if your chimney is still in place, but you are not using it and it is not sealed off, it is drawing heat from your home to the outside.

4. Attic access hatches can create air leaks

Having access to the attic is very convenient when you need to check on it. However, access hatches are often affected by air leaks. These hatches are the biggest hole in the top of a house, and they are also a major break in the insulation. Thus, often a major heat loss. Old wooden hatches insulated with mineral wool let air through. Be sure to change the air damper to one that is sealed with rubber and insulated with R-41 factor, in accordance with the building code.

5. Your recessed lights are not sealed

Recessed lighting fixtures are becoming increasingly popular in homes. However, they can sometimes be poorly sealed and lead to heat loss. Make sure the holes as well as the joints are properly sealed. The problem is that moisture could seep into the attic. This is why it is important to insulate your home with a vapour barrier. Finally, air can escape around the bulbs, through the housing. If your bulb is not an LED type, it gets hotter and hotter as it is lit, and the risk of hot air leaks increases.

6. Bathroom fans are vented to the attic

It’s fun to draw pictures in the foggy mirror after a hot shower. However, it does show a problem, especially if your vent is facing the attic. The humid air sent into the attic brings moisture. Remember, moisture leads to mold. To avoid these undesirable problems, make sure that the ventilation duct is well sealed and insulated. Also, make sure that the ventilation outlet is to the outside of the house.

7. Presence of ice on your roof

If you have ice on your roof, it is unfortunately not a good sign. It means you have poor insulation or poor attic ventilation. Here’s why; the temperature in the attic rises and melts the snow. Then the water freezes at the eaves and forms icicles. Eventually, the trapped water can seep into the exterior walls and eventually into your home.

8.Heat radiates on your roof in summer

Of course, we are all happy when the summer sun shows its rays. However, your poorly insulated attic could turn that heat into an unnecessary expense. The strong power of the sun’s rays can heat shingles up to 60 ̊C. This intense heat penetrates the attic as well as all over your house. Unpleasant situation, you try to cool the air in the house, but the sun heats up the entire house. You then run your air conditioner at full capacity, which drives up your electricity bill.

9. Poor insulation in your home is a source of heat loss

If you own an old house built in the 19070-1980’s, you may have noticed that it costs a lot of money for electricity. These homes were insulated with mineral wool batt, which is not optimal for cold weather. Adding 6 to 8 inches of cellulose over the original insulation is a solution to avoid thermal bridges. The cellulose covers the thermal bridges and reduces heating costs by up to 30%.


Remember this 

If your home is built with a pitched roof, insulating the attic is a quick and easy way to reduce heat loss. This is the first room you should think about when it comes to heat loss. Finally, add cellulose to the original insulation in your attic, if your house was built in the 70s and 80s. This method is damage-free and the savings on your electricity bill will be immediate.



The Residential Thermographie Team

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