When you turn on your air conditioner this summer, one of the last things you need is more heat in your home. Heat gain is a common source of additional indoor heat that comes from multiple natural and man-made sources. Not only will heat gain make your home less comfortable, it will also increase your monthly cooling costs as your air conditioner or heat pump works harder to compensate. Here are some ways to lower heat gain in your home and save money and energy while staying consistently cool.
- Close the curtains and drapes: Heat gain through windows is probably the most common source. If you’ve ever seen your pet sleeping in a sunny area, you know that those spots of sunshine can be very warm. Excess sunshine can also raise indoor temperatures by a significant amount. To stop this source of heat gain, close your curtains and drapes during those times when there is likely to be a lot of sunshine coming through the windows.
- Reconsider using heat-generating appliances: Cooking using stoves, ovens, and other appliances can produce significant amounts of heat gain. Consider using other methods of cooking during the hottest parts of the day, such as small toaster ovens or microwaves. Reserve the use of ovens and cooking stoves for early morning or late evening hours.
- Run ventilation fans in the bathroom: Using hot water in the bathroom can produce both heat and moisture. When showering or bathing, make sure to turn on the ventilation fans in the bathroom to pull out moisture and heat that could otherwise get into your larger living spaces.
- Insulate the attic: Attics can get extremely hot in summer, so make sure the attic spaces and roof are well insulated to reduce heat build-up in that area. Attic ventilation systems can also help remove hot air.
Conditioned Air has served the needs of HVAC customers in Bradenton, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and the neighboring communities since 1962. Contact us today for more information on how to lower heat gain in your home and keep your living spaces cooler and more comfortable this summer.
The quality of the air inside your home has a significant effect on both health and comfort. Here are some of the signs of poor indoor air quality you should be watching for. If you notice these signs, contact your local trusted HVAC professional for help.
1. Increased Discomfort or Health Problems
Poor indoor air quality can contribute to physical discomfort while also making some health problems worse.
- Dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, and particulates in the air can trigger allergies or asthma attacks.
- Particulates can irritate eyes, noses, and throats, causing unpleasant scratchy feelings.
- Particulates can cause sneezing, coughing, watering eyes, and skin irritation.
- In severe cases, poor indoor air quality can cause dizziness or nausea.
2. Increased Amounts of Dust
Take a look at the shelves and other surfaces in your home. If there is an increased amount of dust on these surfaces, it could indicate a problem with indoor air quality. More dust and particulates can be present in poor-quality air, and over time, this dust will settle on surfaces in your home. You may even see more dust floating through the air if it’s made visible in sunshine or other light sources.
3. Bad Odors
If you notice more bad odors than usual, or unpleasant smells that will not go away, you may have poor indoor air quality. Certain activities, such as cooking, may produce temporarily strong odors, but if the smells you’re noticing are frequent or consistent, it could indicate a reduction in indoor ventilation and a drop in indoor air quality.
4. Higher Humidity and Mold Growth
Higher humidity in your home could be an indicator of poor air quality. This is especially true if the increased humidity is also accompanied by more mold growth.
Since 1962 our people have made Conditioned Air a top choice for heating and cooling services in Bradenton, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and the surrounding Florida communities. Contact us today for more information on identifying poor indoor air quality and what you can do to improve the quality of the air inside your home.
Any gaps or leaks that allow conditioned air to escape your Florida home (or that allow unconditioned air to enter it) can reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, leading to increased energy costs. By finding and sealing air leaks with these tips, you can save money and be more comfortable throughout the year.
Windows and Doors
Poorly-sealed windows and doors often feel drafty and can contribute significantly to higher energy costs. Use weatherstripping along the bottoms and tops of windows to seal gaps between the window and the frame, and use caulk to seal around the edges of the window frames, inside and out. Install weatherstripping around the inside of the door frame, where the door meets it, and use caulk around the edges of the frame. Install a door sweep to seal any gaps at the bottom of the door.
Warm air often escapes into the attic during heating season. Use caulk to seal around holes drilled for electrical lines, plumbing vents or lighting fixtures, or expanding foam if the gap is larger than ¼ inch. Seal around appliance flues and chimneys using high temperature caulk, and install a metal baffle to keep insulation away from any hot surfaces. Install baffles around recessed lighting, and seal soffits using caulk and insulation. Use unfaced insulation in plastic bags to seal any empty stud bays.
Any holes in the exterior walls can increase energy usage. Use caulk or expanding foam to seal holes drilled for plumbing, electric, or gas lines, as well as dryer vents or exhaust fan openings. Seal around any light fixtures, and repair or replace damaged siding. Use foam gaskets on interior outlets to seal the outlet covers.
Cool air often enters through the basement and is drawn into the rest of the home. Use caulk to seal around rim joists and the sill plate, as well as any holes drilled for plumbing or electric lines.
For more information about sealing air leaks around your home, talk to our experts at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida since 1962.