Two of the worst enemies your heating and cooling system will encounter are heat gain and air infiltration. Both problems increase your heating and cooling loads and your energy bills. Luckily, there are ways to go about reducing heat gain and air infiltration in your Warren or Grosse Point home, which in turn will reduce unnecessary wear and tear on your system and save you energy dollars.
Consider these five easy tips:
- Leak detection: An HVAC professional is best equipped to track down air leaks. However, there are do-it-yourself methods. Window and door frames are the obvious places to check for leaks. Other common places where leaks occur are all pipes, cables, vents and spigots that pass through the exterior wall and through interior walls that connect to unconditioned areas.
- Caulking: You can purchase caulking at any hardware store as a cartridge to be used with a caulking gun, in aerosol cans and small squeezable tubes. Popular caulking choices include white or clear silicon to seal cracks, leaks and gaps a quarter-inch wide or less. Make sure that all surfaces are dry and clean before caulking.
- Weatherstripping: This leak-sealing method is great for sealing around doors and movable windows. Weatherstripping is available in foam, vinyl and metals (stainless steel, bronze, copper and aluminum). It’s best to choose the material most suited for the specific job, which could be based on foot traffic and frequency of use (a window that is often opened and closed, for example).
- Window coverings: Controlling the amount of sunlight into your home greatly affects temperatures from room to room and overall HVAC demand. Energy-efficient curtains are popular items for reducing heat gain that offer room-darkening properties. When you include shades, blinds, mesh screens, shutters and reflective film, you have many options for controlling sunlight. During the cooling months, close the drapes to block sunlight for reducing heat gain. During the heating months, close the curtains at night for reducing heat loss.
- Insulation: Attic insulation is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home. A properly insulated and ventilated attic reduces energy consumption, helps protect the roof and structure, and helps prevent ice damming during the heating months.
Make absolutely sure you follow all manufacturer instructions for do-it-yourself projects. For professional help in the Metro-Detroit area, contact Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We’ve been helping homeowners with HVAC needs since 1945.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about reducing your heat gain and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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