The move toward passive heating and cooling is growing. It saves money and reduces greenhouse gases. Here are some ways to cut down on heat gains and losses from your home in summer conditions.
InsulationInsulation slows down heat flow. In winter this means less heat escapes and in summer, it keeps your air conditioner from working overtime. In both cases, you have smaller equipment issues to worry about when building or replacing. Upgrading insulation is a sure-fire way to cut your energy use.
Proper SealingIf air leaks in around windows and doors, you undo everything your insulation does. Known as infiltration, this air carries moisture in summer and low temperatures in winter, taxing your equipment and wasting energy. Sealing off these locations is a fairly cheap way to cut back on your energy bills.
Window LocationsCurtains and blinds can reduce heat gain and loss depending on their insulating value. Blocking out the sun in summer keeps the space cool even if you have no shading from outside. Trees and foliage outside your window also reduce heat gain in the summer. If you pick the right trees that lose their leaves in winter, you still gain the advantage of winter sunlight heating your home.
Window TreatmentsWindow treatments became mainstream in the 1800s, but due to a lack of proper oversight and standards for building and rating furnaces, they fell out of favor in the early 20th century. The National Warm Air Heating and Ventilation Association was created in 1914 to address this and now the majority of homes in North America are heated with furnaces. Heavy curtains keep the cold in during the dog days of summer, reducing losses from large windows.
OverhangsStrategically placed overhangs can prevent your large windows from creating large problems in the summer. During this season, the sun is high in the sky. Overhangs that block windows from direct sunlight reduce the heating effect of the sun and keep your cooling bill down. The winter sun’s low path across the sky allows sunlight to enter the room without being blocked by the overhang.
Type of GlassGlass performance has two main characteristics: heat transfer coefficient and shading coefficient. The heat transfer coefficient indicates how well the glass prevents heat from flowing through. The shading coefficient affects the sunlight entering the space. A higher shading coefficient keeps more sun out. Glass thickness, the number of panes and coating type all impact these numbers and vary between manufacturers.
You Still Need Well-maintained EquipmentEven with minimal heat gains and losses, your HVAC equipment needs to run efficiently. To assess ways you can reduce your energy usage and keep your equipment in top shape, give us a call at (877) 552-2326 or Schedule Service Today!
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