Is Recessed Lighting Affecting Your Home's HVAC Efficiency?

Is Recessed Lighting Affecting Your Home’s HVAC Efficiency?

May 25, 2017

Is Recessed Lighting Affecting Your Home's HVAC Efficiency?There are so many factors in play when it comes to your home’s HVAC efficiency that it’s hard to keep up with them all. There may even be a few factors you don’t know about that could have a sizable impact on overall comfort and energy usage. For instance, those trendy recessed lighting fixtures can have a significant impact on the way you heat and cool your home:

  • Installing recessed lights requires installers to punch holes through the building envelope, drastically changing the way heat loss occurs while potentially removing a protective element against unconditioned air outdoors.
  • The light fixtures themselves can leave behind gaps that allow conditioned air to leak out of the building envelope. These gaps usually occur between the actual lighting canister and the ceiling. The canisters themselves may have holes that also allow air to slip past.
  • These gaps can lead to a pronounced stack effect in your home, where rising air escaping through the top of your home creates a low-pressure area at lower levels, allowing your home to draw in cold air.

In short, adding recessed lights can result in higher energy bills, reduced home comfort and an HVAC system with a shorter lifespan due to the added workload. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can install your recessed lighting without worrying about any drops in HVAC efficiency:

  • Make sure you’re using IC fixtures. These lighting fixtures are designed to be in contact with insulation without creating a fire hazard. These fixtures may also have gaskets and other features to prevent gaps between the fixture and drywall.
  • If you’re using non-IC fixtures, cover them with insulating boxes. These pre-made boxes offer a protective barrier against your insulation and non-IC fixture, plus they can prevent air intrusion from indoor spaces.
  • Consider using LED lighting. LED light bulbs are well known for producing less heat than incandescent, making them ideal for use in recessed lighting fixtures.

For more HVAC efficiency tips, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions in Orlando today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).