Does summertime have your home feeling like a sweatbox? There may be a reason your home is not cooling as well as it used to, and we are here to tell you what those reasons may be and how you can fix them. Don’t blame the air conditioner for not doing its job — unless you are sure you’re not making its job harder.
1. Your home is not airtight.
In many cases, our homes are not sealed properly, allowing air and heat from the outside to seep in and cool air to seep out freely. Unlike the freedom to design your dream home, the freedom that leads to higher energy bills is not a cause for celebration. Air leaks can occur in roofs, attics, walls, floors, and around the framing of windows and doors — anywhere two surfaces meet and anywhere in between.
Major trouble spots may require replacing parts of the structure, but smaller leaks can be patched with caulk or weather-stripping. Caulk, a class of flexible compounds pumped out of a caulking gun, is most useful to seal small spaces between stationary building elements. Weatherstripping is preferable for moving building parts, such as doors or operable windows.
According to energy.gov, taking steps to air seal your home can save you more than 20 percent on your household’s heating and cooling bills.
2. Your home has inefficient or outdated windows
Windows have been proven to be a serious contributor to discomfort in the house, especially when they’re outdated or not optimized for your climate. If you still have single-paned windows, it might be an appropriate time to upgrade. Double-paned windows (two layers of glass, sometimes with a layer of nonreactive gas like argon in between), especially those with low-emissivity coatings, have been known to reduce energy costs by 30 to 50 percent. A low-emissivity coating is a metal or metal oxide film applied to the surface of a pane of glass that regulates heat transfer.
Due to a long cold season, South Jersey homeowners will typically want to opt for a low-emissivity coating designed for moderate or high solar gain, as indicated by the window’s solar heat gain coefficient (or SHGC, the fraction of solar radiation permitted through the glass). Such windows are better at trapping heat indoors, which is appreciated in the winter but not so much in mid-summer. To help regulate the heat, utilize window treatments such as shades, blinds, curtains, or drapes. Awnings, trees, and shrubs can assist with shading from the outside.
3. You have too many electronics running.
Individually, each appliance or electronic device in your home generates heat. Collectively, they can significantly drive up the temperature, making it difficult for your air conditioner to keep up. Power down electronics and appliances as much as possible or find alternatives. For example, grill dinner out on the patio instead of turning on the oven, or read a book in a well-ventilated, naturally-lit area (such as an Eze-Breeze Porch Enclosure) instead of bingeing on television or video games.
Keep cool with Ayars Complete Home Improvements
Whether you’re looking to seal gaps or replace windows to improve energy efficiency, or power down and get some air outside with a shaded outdoor living space, Ayars Complete Home Improvements is committed to preventing you — and your budget — from burning up this summer. Call or use the online form to schedule a free estimate today!