Through The Roof: Proper Heat Management With Insulation – Part 2: The Role Of Roof Insulation

Ever wondered why you put a lid on top of a hot cup of coffee or cover a pot to let the ingredients simmer? Convection transfers heat over a distance much faster than conduction, and that means hot air rises a lot faster to your roof than it is absorbed by other materials in your home.

Your home’s own power version of a lid is the roof. The hot air that rises, whether through natural convection or through cooling systems, makes the roof cavity a lot warmer than the rest of your house. In addition, the roof is also exposed to a great deal of solar heat. Walls and floors come with their own forms of insulation, but without roof insulation, you’re still quite vulnerable. By properly controlling the flow of heat in your attic, you’ll be preventing sudden temperature spikes and reducing your cooling costs.

The Role of Roof Insulation In Climate Control

Equipping your roof with the right thermal insulation is key in controlling the heat trapped in your roof cavity. Thermal insulation refers to the material designed to keep heat from being transmitted or transferred from one area to another. In the case of roof or attic insulation, it acts as a barrier between your roof and the inside of your home, and controls the heat before it can travel further.

The Importance of Ventilation

While insulation is used to confine heat to the roof, the passive solar features of your home, i.e., non-electrical or mechanical ventilation provided by eaves and overhangs, awnings, or shutters, allow the heat to escape, and your home to cool down. These features also filter out the hot sun while still allowing the lower-temperature sunlight to enter and heat the building in cooler weather. You may also opt for more active solar features, such as solar-powered attic fans that pull out hot air. These can be installed on tile, shingle, metal, and flat roofs, and on gables or walls.

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Keeping your home cool year-round is definitely important when you live in Florida. Your insulation should be incorporated into your home design with that in mind.

Speaking of options, there are plenty of ways to insulate your roof. You’re almost all ready to get on with your roof insulation, but not before you discover the best roof insulation material for your home. Stay tuned, we discuss that and more in Part 3 of the series.