Heat Gain, Cool Air Loss and Making Your Air Conditioner More Efficient

Phoenix residents know a thing or two about heat gain, which occurs when the radiant warmth of the sun transfers heat into your home. Whether it’s from sunlight coming through windows or the relentless buildup of heat on your roof (where temperatures can easily exceed 140 degrees), the scorching desert sun is relentlessly trying to increase the temperature inside your home. Heat gain also occurs when you turn on the oven to bake a cake, take a long, hot shower or run the dryer on wash day. In Arizona, it’s a constant battle to keep the cool air inside and the hot air outside!

Cool Air Loss – How Efficient Is Your HVAC System?

Most homeowners assume 100 percent of the cold air generated by their air conditioner makes its way into their home via a closed system of ducts and vents. However, poorly designed, inefficient or leaking ducts can cause up to 40 percent loss of cool air actually delivered into your home. This is the kind of cool air loss you will never see until you look at your electric bill. Why? Because most people set their thermostat and don’t realize their inefficient AC system has to work harder and run longer in order to cool their home to the desired temperature. The more electricity you use, the higher your monthly utility bills – especially during the summer months.

Here’s a few tips for lowering heat gain, eliminating cool air loss and making your HVAC more efficient:

  • Lowering Heat Gain

    You don’t have to be an HVAC expert to know – the less direct sunlight hitting your home or shining through your windows, the better. Homes with large shade trees planted on the south side of the house have a significant advantage in lowering heat gain. We all love the view large picture windows and sliding glass doors provide. Sun block shades and blackout drapes help keep the heat and UV rays out of your home. In summer, consider using your oven less and eating lighter fare. Take shorter showers and, if possible, consider doing your laundry at night when it’s cooler. The breeze generated by ceiling fans makes it seem cooler.

  • Prevent Cool Air Loss

    Because they are out of sight and out of mind, most homeowners are unaware of the condition of their duct system. Ducts are located above the ceiling, in between walls and in other hard to see locations. However, leaking or damaged ducts can cost you dearly. Ducts expand with the heat and retract with cool air – especially in the attic. Over time, the constant expansion and contraction causes sealed joints to leak. Even small leaks (which you’ll never see) can add up to big electric bills. Let us perform a duct inspection to determine the efficiency of your system.

  • Early Summer – the Best Time for an AC Checkup

    With the heat of the summer just ahead, we think it’s a great idea to schedule an AC checkup before a big problem occurs. Let one of our experienced professionals inspect your entire HVAC system and provide you with information on how you can make your HVAC system more efficient.

This Summer Gain an Edge on the Heat

When you prevent cool air loss, you’ll put energy dollars back in your pocket. Figuring out ways to increase AC efficiency is something we love to share with our customers. Call us today before the first heatwave hits.