A lot of work goes into properly optimizing a house to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You need to balance insulation with other features that make it easier for your central air unit to heat or cool the house, all the while making sure you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do so. Today we will be going over some little things that you can do to add to the efficiency of your home’s central air, as well as some bigger things to look for in a house that will make it easier to maintain a desirable temperature.
Keeping Cool in the Summer
In some cases, efficient heating and cooling comes down to the same thing—insulation. In others, there is a difference, and you need to pick somewhere in the middle to be effective. For example, vaulted ceilings may cause the heat to get trapped above your head so that you don’t feel it, creating more airflow. The down-side to this, however, is that there is simply a lot more space to cool down.
One way to mitigate this is to make sure to have some kind of tint on your windows to limit the amount of heat from the sun rays that gets in. This is especially important if you have big windows on the large walls that will go with those vaulted ceilings. It will also be important to make sure that every door and window that opens has proper weatherproofing on it. You should also make sure they close all the way.
If you can paint your home a lighter color, that will also help it block and reflect some of the sun’s rays. If you paint your home black or a darker color, it will end up absorbing a huge amount of heat from the sun. This heat eventually spreads into the rest of the house. It is also important to not only have tint, but also have drapes and blinds, which will block more heat. It all feeds each other in a symbiotic cycle. Shade in the form of trees and vines can also help you cool off during the hot months. You can buy artificial shade, but natural shade is considerably cheaper. It can also help to have a limited number of rock features, as they will be warmed up by the sun.
Trapping Heat in the Winter
For the winter, if you want to keep your home warm, insulation is key. While it helps during the summer too, insulation can end up backfiring in houses with several windows. Windows let in heat from the sun, and that heat ends up trapped by the insulation along with the cool. Which is why the tint is so important. But in the winter, that insulation is much more important.
If you can get a fireplace or a furnace, the amount of heat it creates represents a huge amount of potential savings. The fuel, wood, is free if you take the time to collect it. But even if you buy starter logs for $3, they are still considerably cheaper than traditional heaters. This is also a time when smaller roofs and cozier floor plans will help. On the flipside of the summer, having a brown or darker color house will cause you to absorb some of the sun’s heat.
All of these considerations can be difficult to manage, but thankfully you don’t have to go it alone. Central Texas Heating and AC professionals such as our AirOne technicians have the knowledge and expertise to help you make your home as energy-efficient as possible, even in the most brutal Texas summers. Give us a call if you’re interested in optimizing what you can get out of your HVAC unit!