Most of the summer heat gain in homes in our region seeps in through windows and ceilings. In the Fresno area, it’s not uncommon for our daytime temperatures to soar into the 100s. Unlike the outside temperatures, the heat gain in your home is something you can do something about to lower your cooling bills and wear and tear on your cooling system.
Unless you have thermal or Energy Star-certified windows, the heat gain coming through the windows can be substantial. Shade screens can block up to 90 percent of the UV rays on east-, west- and south-facing windows. Home centers sell shade fabric and kits to make the screens to fit your windows. Placing them on the outside of the windows blocks the heat before it gets into your home. Some retailers also fabricate the screens.
Reflective window film also works well in our climate because it bounces the heat outside. It will also stop heat loss in the winter. In lieu of either of these, close your window coverings to lower the summer heat gain. They won’t stop all the heat radiating indoors, but they will help some.
Landscaping will also decrease heat gain through the windows. Planting deciduous trees, shrubs, or vines near the windows will provide shade in the summer and warmth in the winter when the leaves fall.
Even with light-colored shingles, the heat in your attic can reach temperatures as high as 150 degrees. Some of that heat makes its way through your ceilings, warming your home. Additional insulation in the attic stops some of the heat transfer, and an attic fan will keep it from building in the first place. An electric attic or solar fan will pull the overheated air outdoors, replacing it with cooler outside air. These fans also help you avoid mold growth in the attic due to overly humid conditions.
If you’d like assistance coping with summer heat gain, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve provided trusted HVAC services for Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley for nearly 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).