Your home’s cooling load is the primary factor that drives your summertime electrical costs. When you take steps to decrease the heat your home gains, you’ll see the results immediately and for years to come. Some of these tips are inexpensive and simple to execute, while a few may require a professional’s assistance.
- A single-pane window may let 85 percent of the sun’s heat pass through it. Energy Star and thermal windows reduce the heat coming inside.
- Consider shade screens to block the heat from the windows. Some of the fabrics can block up to 90 percent of the heat without completely obstructing your view. Home centers have shade screen kits or you can have them custom made.
- Use insulated drapes to keep the heat from the windows, closing them when the sun strikes your windows.
Adding insulation to your attic keeps the heat generated by your roof inside the attic. If you can see the joists in your attic, there’s room for more. The Department of Energy recommends that you have approximately 16 inches of insulation in the attic.
Air coming in or out of your home increases your cooling load. Look for cracks around your window frames, daylight around exterior door frames and places where cables, wires or pipes come inside. Exterior caulk, fresh weatherstripping and expanding foam are good products to stop the air leaks.
Check your ductwork to make sure it’s not leaking. Ducts that leak or are inefficient can raise your cooling costs by as much as 50 percent, sending that conditioned air into spaces where you don’t need it. If your ducts are hard to view, an HVAC technician can inspect them for you. If you can locate duct leaks on your own, seal them with mastic instead of duct tape, whose adhesion is short-lived.
Stack Heating & Cooling has provided HVAC services for greater Cleveland since 1976. Please contact us if you’d like us to inspect your ducts and service your cooling system, helping you lower the amount of cooling your home requires.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your cooling load and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.