Heat gain makes your home feel uncomfortable and the air conditioner work harder. Understanding what it is and the methods for preventing it will help you lower your utility bills.
What Is Heat Gain?
Heat gain is the transfer of heat from different sources into your home. Common sources include the sun, household appliances and body temperature. Heat energy naturally moves from hot zones into cooler zones. The heat is absorbed by building materials and gathers in different parts of your home, increasing the indoor temperature.
Windows alone account for about 48 percent of the heat gained by your house. Walls and doors account for 19 percent, internal sources account for 14 percent, weatherization accounts for 13 percent whereas the ceiling accounts for 6 percent.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to prevent heat accumulation in your home. Following are some tips to consider.
- Windows: Install window treatments such as outdoor blinds, awnings and shade screens. On the inside, you can add blinds, drapes or a reflective film.
- Creative landscaping: Shade the exterior of your house by planting trees and shrubbery that block sunlight.
- Walls and roofs: Paint exterior walls and coat the roof with a light color to reflect some solar energy. The attic should be appropriately ventilated by unblocking exhaust vents and installing an electric fan.
- Insulation: Insulation is crucial in the prevention of heat conduction through the building materials. Your walls and ceiling should have a minimum of R-19 and R-30 insulation levels respectively.
- Limit use of indoor appliances: You can reduce the generation of indoor heat by using appliances in the morning or late in the evening.
- Proper weatherization: Seal any cracks around windows and doors. Caulk around wall-penetrating pipes, vents and electrical boxes. Make sure the fireplace damper is closed and no light is streaming through.
For more information about preventing heat gain, contact the pros at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We’ve been serving the Yuma area for more than 60 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona 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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