If you are considering purchasing a substantial residence in Palm Beach, are you ready to climb up into the attic and inspect the insulation? If you want to have a handle on how much your monthly energy cost is going to be, you need to have a professional home inspection technician evaluate the “climate” that exists in your attic.
Generally speaking, the bigger the roof the greater the exposure to conductive heat transference from the roof to the interior of the home. Standing between your tiled or shingled roof and your air conditioned space inside is the attic and if it is not properly insulated and vented it can actually pass on air that is hotter than the temperature outdoors!
Given the tropical climate of Palm Beach, an inadequately insulated and ventilated attic can mean energy bills that are much higher than they need to be.
Attic Insulation and Ventilation Inspection Points
While every homeowner should know what’s going on in their attic it’s particularly important to a potential home buyer. An air conditioner is an energy hog and in South Florida can represent 70% of the total FPL bill. The sales price might be attractive but if you don’t know the operating costs you don’t fully know the “value” of the property.
All Palm Beach real estate contracts include a contingency clause for a home inspection. As a buyer you want a professional inspector working for you…not the seller. Here are a few of the attic conditions that the inspector will look at.
- Is the attic “air sealed?” Heat can transfer to the home in one of three ways; conduction, convection and radiation. Insulation only helps with conduction. If you have leaks in the attic that lead to the interior like chases for pipes, wire and ducts or improperly framed soffits that hot air can lead directly into air conditioned space. All the “leaks” need to be sealed.
- Your inspector can evaluate the existing insulation and make a determination of how much additional insulation (if any) is required to reach an optimal “R” rating. He will also insure that the existing insulation is not covering up the eave vents, a common problem that restricts circulation of air in the attic.
- Lastly is a determination if the attic has adequate ventilation. Another common problem with larger homes is inadequate or broken ventilation fans in the roof. The attic needs to be able to breathe and without ventilation the air inside the attic simply gets hotter and hotter.
Attic insulation and ventilation are not very sexy features when considering a new home but they have a very real impact on what it will cost to live in it.
If you have any questions about home inspections or any of the comprehensive services offered by Windridge Olen Exports don’t hesitate to contact me today!