Reducing your home’s heat gain during the Mid-Atlantic Region’s hot summer reduces the need to run the A/C as often to stay cool and comfortable. Following are practical and proven ways to cut heat gain in your home, and reduce A/C dependence for good.
Seal in Savings
The more heat accumulates in your home from sources outside and inside, the more you need A/C. Air sealing and attic insulation are practical home-efficiency upgrades that cut outside and inside heat gain caused by air leaks in the home’s envelope and heat conduction through walls and ceilings into your living spaces.
Made in the Shade
Windows are always potential trouble areas for heat gain. Older windows offer poor R-value (heat resistance) and are typical spots for air leaks. Heavy window coverings help block heat gain/loss. Of course, sunlight can be an energy-efficient friend, too. Keep curtains closed in sun-facing rooms during the day (cooling months). On cool summer nights, open the curtains to allow heat loss. The opposite strategy is used for the heating months.
The colors and materials of a home’s exterior can increase or reduce A/C dependence. If you are undertaking new construction or remodeling, consider “cool” colors for exterior walls and roof. “Cool” roofs dramatically reduce heat gain to the attic and home, and are available in a wide range of long-lasting materials.
Fans and ventilation are important for balanced airflow, comfort and energy savings. Ceiling fans help you feel cooler by three of four degrees with the wind-chill effect. Once you’ve sealed and insulated your attic, make sure to allow for easy air exchange between inside and outside, and/or install mechanical ventilation. A properly ventilated attic promotes a healthy and efficient home and roofing system in all seasons.
Home appliances and electronics account for a substantial portion of the electric bill. When you’re replacing appliances or shopping for new electronics and computer equipment, select Energy Star-qualified systems. Products brandishing the blue Energy Star logo have passed rigid testing for energy efficiency, and typically offer greater performance and features.
For more tips on how to reduce A/C dependence in your Baltimore area home, please contact us at Griffith Energy Services, Inc.
Written by Kevin Spain