Common Sources of Heat Gain and Ways to Prevent It
The main foe your home’s central A/C fights every day during the cooling season is heat gain. The more heat that finds its way into your home or is generated within the home, the harder your cooling system has to work to remove it. It only stands to reason that if you can reduce or eliminate sources of heat gain, your air conditioner will have an easier time cooling your home and will use less energy doing so.
Nearly half of the heat that is gained in a typical home comes through the windows. You can see this happening when afternoon sunshine is streaming through an uncovered window. The air in that room is probably 10 degrees or more warmer than in other rooms. Install energy-efficient Low-E windows and use effective window coverings. Do not leave curtains and shades open on a sunny afternoon. Consider tinted windows, too. Make sure older windows are properly sealed with caulk and weatherstripping.
Reduce Air Leaks
Similarly, seal gaps in the exterior envelope of your home to prevent or reduce the amount of warm air coming through on hot days. Use caulk, weatherstripping or spray foam. Pay special attention to spots where wires, pipes or vents enter the home.
Insulation is just as important in summer as in winter, especially in the attic. An attic can heat up to 150 degrees or more on a hot summer day. All that heat collecting in the attic can’t help but have a negative impact elsewhere in the home. For the same reason, effective attic ventilation is important. Attic fans can also do a good job of preventing heat buildup.
Minimize Indoor Heat Gain
Try to avoid heat-generating activities inside the house during warm days. For example, cook outside or use the microwave instead of the oven or stovetop; and use the clothes dryer in the morning before the outside heats up.
Learn more about reducing heat gain, as well as about Mike Merritt Heating & Air Conditioning’s home comfort solutions, by giving us a call at (904) 240-4038.