Keeping cool this summer without suffering from high electricity bills is easier said than done. Fortunately, you can keep your home naturally cooler by reducing thermal heat buildup so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. Here’s how.
Reflect heat away
- Roof: Approximately one-third of the thermal heat buildup in your home comes through the roof. Reflect about 25 percent of the heat away with a radiant barrier installed on the roof’s underside.
- Walls: Wall color affects how much heat gain accumulates in your home. Light colored exterior walls reflect heat, which is a quality you want in your home’s siding.
- Windows: The majority of thermal heat buildup comes through south- and west-facing windows. Reflect the heat trying to come through with a plastic layer called a combination film. This is ideal for Michigan’s climate since it doesn’t completely block heat gain, a positive quality in the winter.
- Insulation: All that thermal heat buildup in the attic seeps into your home unless you have several inches of insulation on the attic floor. With Michigan’s cold winters, you’ll want attic insulation with an R-value of R-38 to R-60.
- Landscaping: This is the perfect way to shade and add value to your home. Plant deciduous trees on the southwest side of your home for ample shade during the hot afternoon. Low-lying shrubs around the foundation shade the ground and further reduce thermal heat buildup.
- Window treatments: Consider exterior treatments (awnings, solar screens, shutters, louvers and rolling shades) along with interior window coverings (curtains, drapes, venetian blinds and honeycombed shades) to keep sunlight from shining directly through the windows.
Reduce internal heat buildup
- Appliances: Run heat-generating appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher, stovetop and oven) during cooler times of day. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient appliances to improve performance.
- Light bulbs: Trade out inefficient incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents. These consume 75 percent less energy and emit 90 percent less heat.
For more information about reducing thermal heat buildup in your Grand Traverse County area home, please contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. Our experience dates back more than 30 years.
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 thermal heat buildup and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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