HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

Boost Your AC Function By Upgrading Your Roof And Windows

Heat gain is the term used to describe the way your home heats up during the day. It is this heat gain that is responsible for driving up your cooling costs. The hotter your home gets, the more your AC unit runs, and the more you have to pay to cool your home back down. To give your AC unit a break, you should consider upgrading your roofing and windows to reduce heat gain. 

Heat Transmission through the Roof of Your Home

If you have asphalt shingles on the roof of your home, then you need to know that they absorb the energy found in the UV rays of the sun and then radiate that energy in the form of heat. In fact, shingles can easily reach temperatures of 150˚ Fahrenheit. While your insulation should block most of this heat from entering your home, some heat transfer will occur. On the other hand, a reflective roof coating such as metal can help to decrease your cooling costs by up to 25% by deflecting the sun's energy away from your home. Another option for reducing your cooling costs is to use a light-colored roofing material. White roofing, in particular, can reduce cooling costs by up to 20%.

UV Rays and Windows

The sun's UV rays can pass right through a window and then heat up the interior surfaces of your home, which will then radiate heat through your home. In fact, windows are responsible for 30% of the heat gain that your AC unit has to contend with. If you want to increase your energy savings without the high cost of replacing the windows in your home, you can install low-e film on your existing windows, which will reflect the sun's UV rays without diminishing the view from your windows. In this way, window films can decrease your cooling costs by 23%. Since winters can be extremely cool in Canada, window film is a particularly good upgrade because it can also decrease your heating costs by up to 25%.

While buying a highly-efficient AC system is a good start to keeping your cooling costs manageable, you should also consider how heat gain undermines the efficiency of your cooling system. Because of the high cost of replacing a roof, you should wait to replace your roof until it wears out. Start instead with installing window film because it is much more affordable and can have a dramatic effect on improving the efficiency of your cooling system. 

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