What is frost envy?
“Frost envy” describes the feeling of looking at your neighbors roof and seeing frost and wishing your home was more energy efficient. Specifically, the term refers to seeing frost on your neighboring house(s) and none on yours.
On these cold frosty mornings, look at your roof and those of neighboring homes. The house with more frost (like in Picture 1) is likely the more energy efficient one. Of course, house orientation and sun exposure make a difference. But let’s say we compare two houses with similar orientation/sun exposure. One has a frosty roof, and the other does not. The one with frost keeps the warm air inside the home – below the attic. The roof stays cool because warm air does not leak into the attic and warm up the roof.
The other is not properly air sealed and allows warm air to venture into the unconditioned attic and melt the frost. In pictures 2 and 3, spotty frost patches indicate localized air leakage causing some areas to remain frosty.
We have said it before…
…and we will continue to say it again and again…traditional loose-fill or batt insulation is not an air barrier. So just adding insulation without proper air sealing is not going to improve efficiency or keep that warm (or cooled) conditioned air inside your home.
Other problems from lack of frost
Warm air escaping from your home through your attic floor can also cause condensation to occur on the underside of the roof. This can cause water damage as the condensation sits on the roof decking and/or falls to the insulation on the attic floor. Wet insulation and high energy bills, anyone? No, thank you! Frosty roof? Yes, please! If you feel yourself getting frost envy, contact us to see how we can help.
Eco Three is a trusted, leading-edge home energy authority dedicated to helping homeowners in Alabama. We do this through our comprehensive home energy audits and energy-efficient upgrades. Our nationally accredited team of hometown experts uses the latest technology to provide actionable solutions to outrageous energy bills and home comfort issues. We are an experienced group of people with a unique plan and a sincere interest in making a difference in people’s lives and the environment. We service existing homes as well as new construction.