Every home is engineered to include some amount of insulation and windows. These two things could be adversely or positively affecting how your AC unit performs. So, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts when it comes to your home’s structure.
Insulation’s Effects on Your HVAC System
Living in North Central Florida, we don’t necessarily need a whole lot of insulation like our Northern friends do. But, it’s important to know that insulation can help your unit’s efficiency. One of the biggest reasons insulation is installed is because it slows down how heat is transferred. For example, in the winter, insulation prevents heat from leaving your home and in the summer, it slows down heat coming into your home. Because it slows down heat transfer in your home, your unit can operate normally and efficiently use energy.
Insulation is typically found in ceiling, walls, and in your attic. Your home’s duct system can also be insulated, but this isn’t as common. Floridians don’t need to worry about going overboard on insulation, but knowing where to focus will save you money in the long run.
Attic Insulation is Most Important
While insulation can be installed in many places, the most important place is your attic. Most of us know that heat rises while cold air sinks. In your home, heat will rise and in the colder months, you want the heat to stay in your home. If not properly insulated, the heat in your home will rise up and eventually escape through your attic. This means you’re wasting energy and overworking your unit.
Make Sure You Have Your Insulation Inspected Once a Year
Attic insulation is most important to have in your home, but it can only do its job when it’s healthy. Leaks from excessive Florida rain can allow mold and mildew to make its home in your insulation. It’s also important to know where insulation is at in your home. If it’s located in walls or even crawl spaces, you should definitely know the health of your home’s insulation.
Windows Can Harm Your Unit’s Efficiency (If Not Used Properly!)
Windows are an essential part of your home’s design. You don’t want to live in a home where you can’t enjoy the Florida sunshine! Instead of completely eliminating windows, it’s better to use them more efficiently to give your unit a break.
Give Your AC Unit a Fighting Chance
According to the Department of Energy, air that escapes through gaps made by windows contribute to 25-30% of heating and cooling use. To minimize the effects windows have on your unit, it’s important to reduce how much sunlight gets into your home during the hot afternoons. Using blinds and curtains to block out the sun’s rays will reduce the amount of work your unit needs to do to make your home a comfortable temperature. In addition to using blinds, keeping a close eye on possible air leaks will save you money in the long run.
Know When to Keep Them Closed
During the hotter months, it’s best to keep your windows closed. You may think you are promoting trapped heat to escape through an open window, but you’re actually just making it harder on your unit to perform. Air escapes through gaps in your windows and doors, so making sure that they are closed completely will save you money on your heating and cooling bills. During the colder months, you can crack open the windows during a nice and breezy day. This actually promotes a healthier household by letting pollutants escape every once in a while.
Windows Help Determine Indoor Humidity During Winter
North Central Florida experiences colder months, so your windows can help you during the winter. Because your home will be warmer on the inside than out, it’s only natural that condensation can occur on your windows. It’s actually a good sign when this fog occurs because that means your windows are working properly to keep the inside of your home warm while the outside temperatures are dropping.
If moisture is collecting between the panes of your window and not on the interior surface, that means you probably need to upgrade your windows. In the event that your windows are working properly, but they seem to be too foggy, you have an indoor humidity problem. Too much humidity is a bad thing but can be fixed. Investing in a dehumidifier or setting your thermostat to the proper temperature will solve this problem. Also, a properly maintained HVAC system will work to maintain correct humidity levels in your home.
Your Home’s Design Impacts Your Heating & Cooling Bills
Every aspect of your home’s design can have an impact on how air flows, how heat (and cold) can enter your home, and even how hard your unit has to work.
As you can see, your home’s design affects your HVAC system’s efficiency. But, even with great design, your activities in your home can create unnecessary internal heat or drive up energy costs. Using computers, watching TV, cooking on appliances, and even turning on the lights add heat to your home, which is no fun during the summer months. Taking precautions to help maintain an ideal temperature will drive down energy costs and keep you comfortable all year long.
AC Maintenance & Repair with Crystal Air & Water
Being aware of possible pain points with your windows and insulation will not only save you money but will also extend the life of your AC unit. If you’ve been overworking your unit, it might be time to have your unit checked. At Crystal Air & Water, our team of trained technicians can inspect your unit to make sure it’s prepared to keep you and your family comfortable at any time of the year. To schedule an AC tune-up, contact us today!