The flow of heat energy into a home is known as heat gain. This occurs when warmer outdoor air infiltrates the home via leaks in walls, doors and ceilings. Heat from the sun’s rays can also radiate in through any glass on the home’s exterior. Learning ways to limit heat gain can boost comfort and reduce your cooling costs.
Shade Exterior Glass
Solar radiation through the glass accounts for about 48 percent of heat transfer. To minimize it, add exterior shade like trees, shrubs and window awnings. Inside, install window coverings with a low shading coefficient and close them during the daytime.
When the correct amount of insulation is properly installed, it helps reduce heat transfer through walls, ceilings and other structural components that typically accounts for 19 percent of total heat gain. To control this, have R-21 installed in the walls and R-60 on the attic floor.
Minimize Internal Heat Generators
Heat sources inside an average home represent 14 percent of gains. Common sources include electronics, lighting and appliances. To curb this, schedule activities that generate extra heat like drying laundry, running the dishwasher or cooking for cooler times of day. Switching out incandescent light bulbs for efficient CFLs or LED can help too, since they generate much less heat.
Seal the Building Envelope
Air leaks through the exterior envelope contribute 13 percent to the total household heat gain. You can reduce this percentage significantly by caulking windows, weatherstripping exterior doors and using expandable spray foam to fill cracks and gaps around shell penetrations. Insulate and weatherstrip the attic access hatch too, and install a chimney balloon to seal the fireplace flue.
Ventilate the Ceiling
Heat transferring down from an attic where temperatures can reach 160 degrees can add another 6 percent to the A/C’s cooling load. You can reduce these gains by having mechanical ventilation and sufficient exhaust vents professionally installed.
To learn more tricks for reducing heat gain in your Grand Traverse County home, contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat gain and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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