There’s a problem that many Florida homes develop called the paston effect, or cool attic syndrome. It typically manifests itself as a large discolored patch on the ceilings of upper floors. It’s more than just unsightly; it can also cause a number of problems in your home. Here’s what you need to know to keep cool attic syndrome under control.
The paston effect is a result of high humidity and low air pressure in your attic. The temperature difference between the attic itself and the air conditioning ductwork running through it causes condensation. This condensation then spreads to the upper floors of your home, causing water damage and mold growth, which in turn lead to structural problems in your home, as well as allergies, asthma and other health issues. To find out if you have cool attic syndrome, call an HVAC professional, who can test your home for moisture, mold and other signs.
Fixing the damage caused by cool attic syndrome can be costly. It’s much better to take preventative measures to stop the problem before it starts. The paston effect can be offset by controlling the humidity and ventilation levels in your attic. The lower the humidity, the lower the temperature at which condensation occurs. To maintain safety and health, humidity levels should always be kept below 50 percent. Installing a dehumidifier in your home can help achieve this.
Also, make sure your attic is well sealed to prevent outside air from entering. Outside air can raise your humidity and cause pressure problems. An HVAC technician can perform an inspection and find out where there are air leaks, both in your attic and in the rest of your house, and help you seal them using caulking and expanding foam. This not only protects against cool attic syndrome, but also helps to prevent energy loss when cooling your home.
For more advice on keeping your home safe and comfortable, contact our experts at Robert R. McGill Air Conditioning. We’ve proudly served the HVAC needs of the eastern Palm Beach, northern Broward and southern Martin counties since 1979.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Palm Beach County, Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about cool attic syndrome and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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