Because of the unrelenting summer heat, preventing heat gain in your home lowers cooling bills and improves comfort. Ample sunshine and hot temperatures make it harder for your home to resist the constant movement of heat to cooler temperatures. However, you can thwart its movement through simple home improvements and by making seasonal changes to your living habits.
According to SRP, one of the Valley’s electric providers, almost half the heat your home picks up comes through the windows. Homes with Energy Star or thermal-rated windows experience much less heat transfer. If upgraded windows are not in your budget, consider putting shade screens on the south- and west-facing windows to block up to 90 percent of the sun’s heat. Window coverings that are lined or thermal-rated will also block some of the heat, even from windows that don’t receive direct sunlight during the day. Once evening temperatures drop, you can open the blinds or drapes.
The Building’s Shell
If you’ve ever accessed your attic in the summer, you know how much heat comes in through the roof. Lighter roof tiles or shingles help the roof deflect some of the heat, as do light exterior colors. SRP estimates that nearly 25 percent of the heat gain in your home results from the attic and exterior walls. Adding more attic insulation slows much of the heat from entering your home through the ceilings.
Unless you live in an Energy Star-designated home, air leaks could be contributing to 13 percent of the unwanted heat indoors. Sealing the leaks around window frames with caulk and improving weatherstripping around exterior doors will reduce air leakage. Other places to look include fireplaces, the dryer vent and any pipes, wires, and cables entering or leaving your home.
Scheduling heat-producing activities for cooler hours will help reduce energy bills, as will using kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking and bathing.
The pros at Wolff Mechanical can help you address heat gain and achieve lower cooling bills. We proudly provide HVAC services for Phoenix area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).