Does it seem like your HVAC unit is constantly running to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home? Has your energy bill been steadily creeping up during the summer months? It’s possible that your home could be experiencing ‘heat gain.’
Residential heat gain, also known as thermal gain, is the heat gained through the infiltration, conduction, radiation, heat/moisture given off by people, and heat given off by appliances.
Heat gain is especially common in older homes or homes with poor insulation. Infiltration and conduction are the two most common types. Infiltration heat gain occurs when cool air inside of a home escapes through leaks in the foundation or sealant, allowing warm, moist air to take its place. Conduction heat gain occurs when heat from a surface, such as a roof, window or wall, finds a way to transfer its energy inside your home.
Now that you know the basics of heat gain is, what are a few ways to prevent it?
- Check your home’s doors and windows for any leaks or cracks that may allow cool air to escape. Add weather-stripping around frames to make a complete seal.
- Check your home’s foundation for any type of cracks and seal them using caulk to prevent further infiltration.
- Keep your blinds and curtains closed during the warmest parts of the day to prevent sunshine from heating your home.
- Install solar window film to reflect the sun’s heat.
- Plant small shrubs or trees in front of your home’s windows to further discourage heat gain.
- Avoid or minimize activities that cause internal home heat, such as using the oven or stove, running the dishwasher, and doing laundry during the warmest parts of the day.