- Using Your Attic to Heat Your Home
- Using Your Attic to Heat Your Home – Part 2: Automation
- Using Your Attic to Heat Your Home – Part 3: Results
If you’ve ever popped your head up into an attic on a remotely sunny day you know it can be incredibly warm up there. So, this idea got me thinking about how I could use that heat in a what useful manner. Often the more simple you can do things the more efficient they are. So, I thought about blowing the hot attic air right down into the house to heat it up in spring and fall.
The first test was done in the fall of last year (2010). I had put a thermometer up in the attic to watch the temperatures. I saw it was more than 90F/32C up there and I have my heat set to 68F/20C. So, I decided to just try and throw a fan into the attic opening. This blew air for a while and warmed up the immediate area quite a bit. It was quite warm by the end of the night, and the amazing thing was the attic was still quite warm even a while after the sun had gone down and that was with the fan blowing. After seeing this, I was hooked and knew that there was a sizable amount of heat ready for the taking. The best part is its clean energy (no fuels burnt) and it is virtually free!
I used the first setup a couple times and then started improving upon it. I knew a lot of the air blowing down was probably going right back up into the attic. The fan wasn’t even covering half of the attic access opening. So, I found a piece of foam insulation that just happened to fit quite well and laid it in the opening. This improved the setup quite a bit. The heat was able to spread around the house much better and it warmed up the rooms around it a couple degrees F.
So, I was quite happy with the improved setup, but there was still a lot of room for improvement. If I wanted to do this every day in spring and fall I’d have to go upstairs, open the attic hatch, get the fan, put it up there, put the piece of insulation in place and manually turn the fan on. If the attic wasn’t really warm I’d have to watch the temperature to make sure the fan wasn’t in fact cooling the house off. It worked great, but it needed some automation. That was the next step.