Taking steps to minimize the heat that makes it into your home this summer can help limit your air conditioner’s energy use and reduce your energy bills. Since there are a number of ways your home gains heat, there are a number of ways to reduce summer heat buildup.
The main way your home gains heat is by absorbing energy from sunlight. How much energy is absorbed depends on the characteristics of the materials on the exterior of your home, as well as how much sunlight hits them.
You can prevent a lot of heat gain by shading your home. Trees and vines offer a great way to shade large portions of your home while improving its appearance. Additionally, the water vapor that’s released during photosynthesis can have a significant cooling effect on the surrounding air. You’ll especially want to make sure windows are shaded so sunlight can’t directly heat the interior of your home. There are a number of options for window shading, such as awnings, shutters, shades and solar screens.
Reflecting is another strategy you can use to reduce heat gain. Roofs tend to absorb the most heat from sunlight and can be hard to shade, so you may want to apply a reflective coating. Another option is to install a reflective radiant barrier in the attic to the underside of the roof. This will help prevent the heat that is gained through the roof from being radiated into the attic, and from there down into your living spaces.
Some summer heat buildup in the attic is inevitable, so you’ll want to make sure that it’s well-ventilated to limit how high its temperature will climb. Even with optimum ventilation, the attic will still be warmer than the exterior air, so it’s all the more important that there’s sufficient insulation between the attic and the rest of the home.
Indoor lighting and appliances can also generate a significant amount of heat in the home. Switching out incandescent light bulbs for LEDs or compact fluorescents will cut down on both heat gain and electricity use.
If you want further help preventing summer heat buildup in your home, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We’ve helped Orlando area homeowners keep their energy bills low since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about summer heat buildup and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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