- August 2013
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Heat gain is often your household’s number one energy-draining nemesis throughout the summer season. Heat energy naturally moves from hot areas to cooler ones; in the summertime this means outdoor heat attempts to infiltrate through your house’s building materials and gather in the air conditioned parts of your home.
This undesired heat gain offsets the effects of your air conditioning or cooling system, causing it to work harder and increasing overall home energy costs. To reduce the Midwestern heat gain in your Gary home, consider following some of these heat gain reducer tips and tricks.
1. Secure your windows
Windows can account for almost half of a home’s summertime heat gain, because of solar heat’s ability to directly infiltrate through a window’s glass panes. You can help reduce this heat transfer by adding:
• Awnings. When placed on west-facing windows, awnings can reduce heat gain by as much as 77 percent and on south-facing windows, 65 percent. Today’s awnings are typically made from synthetic fabrics that are water-repellent, mildew and fade-resistant, and can last over a decade.
• Interior and exterior blinds. Whether they are vertical or horizontal slat-type, blinds have often proved to be a significant heat gain reducer. For example, when interior blinds are completely closed and kept lowered they can reduce solar gain by as much as 45 percent on a sunny day.
• Draperies. While not quite as effective as other window treatments, draperies offer a more aesthetic solution to heat reduction. They do work twice over, their folds and pleats diffuse heat and their draping over windows redirects sunlight.
• Reflective film. Reflective window film is an easy product to install. It sticks to the interior of windows, offering privacy while allowing you to see out. The film reflects the sun’s rays and prevents harmful UV rays from entering your home.
2. Ensure that your home is properly weatherized
* Inspect the weatherstripping around your household’s outside-opening doors and windows. It is important to seal any cracks that you find so that unwanted hot air does not leak into your home.
* In addition to sealing these cracks, caulk around wall-penetrating pipes, electrical boxes and vents.
* Make sure all of your windows and doors are kept tightly shut when not in use.
* One detail that is often ignored or forgotten — it’s important to check your fireplace damper to make sure it is properly closed with no light streaming through.
3. Check ceiling ventilation and insulation
The ventilation and insulation of your attic and ceiling greatly affects how much heat gets transferred from the hot spaces of your attic through your ceiling and into the temperature controlled spaces of your home.
• To prevent this, make sure your attic is appropriately ventilated. Attics in the Midwest lacking the correct ventilation can easily reach temperatures as high as 150 degrees. Not only will such hot air quickly escape to other floors and cause absurdly high air conditioning costs, but this extreme heat can also reduce the life span of your roof’s interior.
• Natural ventilation involves a balance of intake and exhaust vents. To achieve the maximum efficiency, intake vents ought to be installed lower than exhaust vents.
• Insulation between your attic and living space ceiling is a crucial line of defense. The effectiveness of insulation is measured in R-values. The higher the number, the better the insulation is at reducing heat transfer. For your ceiling, you should have a minimum of R-30 insulation installed.
4. Coat your roof
As much as 30 percent of solar heat gain enters through your roof. To stop this gain in its tracks, consider either adding a reflective coating material or installing light-colored roofing materials capable of absorbing, and not transferring, solar radiation.
5. Get creative with landscaping
In addition to adding awnings to your windows, consider going green with the planting of trees and shrubbery around your home. Planting greenery that is capable of shading the concrete areas around your home such as your driveway, helps prevent concrete from reflecting and radiating excess heat toward your home.
For more information about how to reduce summertime heat gain in your Gary home, or to learn about the latest in high-efficiency heating and cooling products, contact your local professionals at Meyer’s. Meyer’s has been proudly serving the Northwest Indiana and south Chicagoland areas with quality work and superior HVAC products since 1951.