Sweltering summer heat is no stranger to Fresno residents. Heat gain can heat up the house unnecessarily, making your air conditioner work harder. By using practices that reduce the amount of heat that accumulates inside your home, you’ll enjoy lower energy bills and temperatures that feel comfortable throughout the summer.
What is Heat Gain?
Heat gain is anything that makes your home feel warmer, such as the warmth your home absorbs through doors, windows, roof and walls from the hot outside air. Other sources that can warm your home include an operating oven or clothes dryer, the sun shining through windows, heat that accumulates in the attic, and air leaks.
Reducing Your Heat Gain
- Weatherize your home: The measures that you take to keep cold air out of your home during the winter help keep it comfortable in the summer. Inspect the exterior and interior walls in your home and seal any cracks that you find. Make sure the weatherstripping around windows and doors is in good shape.
- Update the insulation: Proper insulation reduces the transfer of outside heat into your home. The insulation in the attic should have an efficiency rating of at least R-30 and the exterior walls should have a minimum rating of R-19.
- Properly ventilate: Without proper ventilation in your attic, the heat that it absorbs can pass through the ceiling and into your home. Ventilate your attic with the help of vents and an attic fan, and make sure the exhaust vents aren’t blocked. When you take a shower or cook on the stove, turn on the exhaust fans to direct the warm air outside.
- Shade your windows: Use drapes or shades during the hottest parts of the day to help reduce solar heat gain. You can also shade the windows from the outside with shutters, window tints, trees or shade screens.
- Reduce internal heat gain: During the warmest parts of the day, avoid doing activities that will make your home feel warmer.
- Take advantage of natural cooling. When the evenings cool down, open up your windows. Keep them open in the morning till the morning heat begins to build.
For more advice about how to keep your Fresno area home cool during the summer and prevent heat gain, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).