When temperatures begin to rise in Arkansas, along with the humidity, most homeowners turn on the A/C and don’t consider additional ways to keep their home cool. However, a few simple changes or adjustments can make your home more comfortable while saving energy dollars. Guarding against heat gain during Arkansas’ long summer is one of the smartest things you can do for your home. Here are some important tips for guarding against heat gain.
Check your roof. As the sun’s rays beat down on your roof, things can heat up quickly. Ways to keep your roof cooler include applying a reflective coating to the shingles or installing a radiant barrier in the attic.
Check your attic. Attics can get extremely hot if they lack sufficient insulation and ventilation, and this contributes to a hotter home. Add attic insulation to provide another barrier against heat gain, and make sure your attic is adequately ventilated. Consider an attic fan to boost ventilation.
Cover the windows. A lot of heat comes in directly through window glass. You have several options for reducing this. You can upgrade to energy-efficient windows that have a special coating, you can apply a heat reflective coating to existing windows, or you can use insulating shades, such as cellular shades.
Seal air leaks. Air leaking around windows and doors and other openings in your home’s outer envelope allows warm air into the home (or in the winter, allows it to escape). Sealing air leaks with caulk or spray foam, and adding weatherstripping to doors and window sashes, will help keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Remodel exterior walls. Dark-colored exterior walls will absorb heat from the sunlight, making the house hotter. Consider repainting your home white or using white siding.
Landscape wisely. Large shade trees can help keep your home several degrees cooler. Porch and patio awnings will provide additional sun protection.
Manage your home wisely. Even during the hottest weather, the night and early morning hours often will cool off a bit. Take advantage of this by opening windows in the early morning and letting in the cooler, fresh air. Then close them up when the temperatures start rising, usually in the mid-morning hours. This will give your A/C an hour or two longer break before it starts its day’s work. During the depths of our Arkansas summer, of course, things never really cool off, and humidity persists around the clock. You’ll want to keep your home closed off during these times.
For more information about guarding against heat gain and keeping your home cool and dry, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We have been serving Northwest, Arkansas for more than 40 years, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about lowering your home’s heat gain and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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