When the outdoor temperature rises, your home’s cooling system has to work hard to keep things cool indoors. If you haven’t taken steps to prevent heat gain, your air conditioner must work even harder, and you’ll see the effects of this on your energy bills and your level of home comfort. Read on to learn more about this issue and how to prevent it in your home.
What’s Heat Gain?
Heat gain refers to the heat your home acquires through infiltration of hot air and moisture; conduction of heat through warmed walls, ceilings and windows; radiant heat through windows; and heat emitted by people and appliances.
Window Shade and Exterior Paint Color
Just by shading windows, you can cut air conditioning costs by nearly 50 percent. The more shade you provide windows, the better off you’ll be. Exterior shade in the form of trees or awnings prevents the sun’s rays from heating the window glass. Indoors, use thermal blinds or curtains to keep even more heat out of your home.
Paint exterior walls and doors light colors that will reflect the sun’s heat. Combining this action with adding insulation can reduce heat gain almost 20 percent.
Indoor Activities and Appliances
Many appliances add heat to the home when used. In summer, hang clothes outdoors to dry, or use the dryer only during the coolest parts of the day. Plan meals that can be cooked in a microwave or outside on a grill. Use the dishwasher only after the sun has gone down, and skip the hot drying cycle. Reducing interior sources of heat can cut the gain by up to 14 percent.
Heat that builds up in the attic transfers down through your home’s structure. Reduce this type of gain by 6 percent by ensuring your attic has sufficient insulation.
Seal Air Leaks
In the summer, air leaks let hot air in and cool air out. By sealing leaks around windows and doors, and in exterior walls and ceilings, you can reduce heat gain up to 13 percent.
For more information about preventing heat gain, contact Powers Heating & Air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “VladisChern/Shutterstock”