Don't Let Heat Gain Make Your Air Conditioner Work Harder

Don't Let Heat Gain Make Your Air Conditioner Work Harder

The amount of heat gain in your home has a direct impact on your cooling costs because heat naturally moves from hot to cold constantly. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to slow or block heat gain to maintain indoor comfort.

Windows

Unless your home has Energy Star certified or thermal-rated windows, the windows could be responsible for nearly half the heat entering your home. Glass is a poor insulator, and heat readily flows through windows whether they receive direct sunlight or not.

Closing the window coverings during the hottest part of the day will slow some of the heat transfer. To get the best heat protection, make sure the coverings extend above and below the window frames and sit as closely to the glass surface as possible.

Solar shade screens work well on south- and west-facing windows to cut the radiant heat from entering. You can make them from kits sold at home improvement centers or ask a specialty contractor to make them for you.

Insulation

Although wall insulation matters, most of the heat gain that drives up cooling costs comes from an inadequately insulated attic. Attics reach extreme temperatures during the day, and that heat can penetrate through the ceilings. Consider increasing the insulation to 20 inches for the best heat control.

You can also improve your home’s heat resistance by choosing light roofing and exterior wall colors that reflect much more radiant energy.

Seal the Leaks

Air leaks around the window and door frames increase cooling bills. Caulk, expanding foam and weatherstripping are easy to apply to stop air infiltration immediately.

Internal Heat Sources

While your home’s exterior color, insulation levels and air leaks account for nearly 35 percent of the heat your home gains, indoor sources may account for almost 15 percent. Put off heat-producing activities as much as possible until it’s cooler, and use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to vent warm air.

To learn more about heat gain and keeping cooling costs low, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve proudly served Portland area homeowners since 1976.

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