Limiting the Effects of Heat Gain on Your AC System

For all homeowners, the temperature and comfort of indoor air is an important HVAC consideration. Temperatures far outside normal ranges can become extremely uncomfortable and even un-livable in some situations, and may have a significant impact on several home components as well.

At My Buddy the Plumber, it’s important to know about one temperature-related circumstance that’s often most notable during the spring and summer periods: Heat gain. While this term may seem simple, there’s probably a bit more to it than you had considered. Here are some basics on heat gain, plus how our central air conditioning services and expertise will help you avoid its negative elements this spring and summer.

limiting heat gain AC system

Heat Gain Basics

Heat gain, as the term suggests, refers to any increase in indoor temperature. The primary cause of heat gain is the sun, which beats down on various areas of your home and can warm them in significant ways. Even areas of your home that are not directly facing the sun can be impacted by its warmth.

However, there are other sources that contribute to heat gain as well. These include other people, all of whom give off their own heat, plus appliances, electronics, lighting and several other machine types.

Depending on the time of year it is, heat gain can be either a friend or a foe to your HVAC system. During the winter and cooler months, it’s actually good to promote heat gain where possible, as it will help lower your furnace’s burden and limit your heating bill during these seasons. During the summer, though, heat gain can put undue stress on the air conditioner and risk wearing it down faster than usual, plus raise your monthly costs spent to cool the home. Between this and periods of discomfort due to the heat, heat gain is something you want to avoid during the summer.

Preventing Summer Heat Gain

Preventing heat gain in the summer involves some simple steps and tactics:

  • Add insulation to your roof or attic to limit heat transfer
  • Turn off electronics and lights when they are not being actively used in the home
  • During the warmest periods, try to limit your use of large appliances like the oven, dishwasher or laundry items. When you do use these, do so during the morning or evening when it’s cooler
  • Plant trees, shrubs and bushes around your home to shield it from both the sun and reflected light off pavement
  • Seal your home well during spring months to prevent air escaping from cracks or other openings
  • Install curtains, shades and other window treatments to block sun from entering
  • Consider adding a reflective roof coating to deflect heat away
  • Paint the outside of your home a light shade to prevent heat absorption

For more on preventing heat loss during summer, or to learn about any of our HVAC or plumbing services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.