Summer’s intense heat can drive up your energy bills and take a toll on comfort. But there are several tasks you can tackle to keep your home cooler and reduce the strain on your budget. Here’s an explanation of heat gain, as well as tips for how to reduce it.
What Is Heat Gain?
Heat gain occurs from the sun radiating through windows, heat transferring through exterior walls and ceilings, hot air leaking into the home, moisture entering the home, and heat and moisture created by people and appliances.
Reducing Heat Gain
- Windows are the source of nearly half of your home’s heat. Reduce this by adding awnings or providing the natural shade of trees. On the inside, add tinting and thermal window treatments.
- External walls absorb heat from the sun. Reduce this by painting the exterior a light color to reflect sunlight. Ensure there’s sufficient insulation to provide a barrier between the outside and your home’s interior.
- Walls, doors and the attic are responsible for approximately 19 percent of heat entering the home. Choose insulation with an R-value of at least R-30 for the attic. The R-value is an indication of insulation’s ability to prevent the transfer of heat.
- Ventilation is essential in the attic to prevent heat buildup. Insufficient ventilation and insufficient insulation between the attic and ceiling is responsible for 6 percent of heat. Have an HVAC contractor check the ventilation system.
- Seal air leaks to reduce interior heat by nearly 13 percent. Add weatherstripping and caulking around windows, doors and areas where water pipes or electrical wiring enter the home.
- Don’t ignore indoor sources, as 14 percent of the home’s heat is created here. Switch to cool light bulbs, such as fluorescent or LED, use a microwave instead of the oven, and run hot appliances when it’s cool outside.
For more help reducing heat gain, check out Climatic Conditioning Co., Inc’s air conditioning services, or call us at (941) 758-3080.