4 Common Sources of Heat Gain in Your Home and Ways to Reduce It

Published on: July 11, 2015
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The amount of heat gain in your home drives your summertime cooling bills, and it can be an uphill battle since heat is always seeking cooler temperatures. Stopping and reducing heat transfer not only lowers cooling bills, but it also helps year-round to promote comfort.


Unless you have Energy Star certified or thermal windows, up to half of the heat coming into your home could come from the windows. Glass is one of the poorest insulators, and even if the windows don’t receive direct sunlight, they still transfer a good deal of heat inside.

Adding shade screens will stop much of the heat transfer, as will planting shade trees or shrubs that shield the windows from direct sunlight. Using thermal window coverings and keeping them closed during the hottest parts of the day will also reduce some of the heat entering your home.

Building Envelope

The color of the exterior, including the roofing material, and the amount of insulation and attic ventilation account for 25 percent of the indoor heat gain. Use light exterior colors and improve attic insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends at least 10 inches in the attic.

Without adequate attic venting, your attic could reach temperatures up to 160 degrees, and that heat can infiltrate through the ceilings. You and your HVAC contractor can determine whether you have adequate ventilation.

Air Infiltration

The cracks and gaps around window and door frames, as well as those around pipes, wires and cables entering or leaving your home account for another 13 percent of the heat entering your home. Seal them with caulk, weatherstripping or expanding foam.

Appliance Usage

Everyday activities account for 14 percent of the heat indoors. Put off using the dryer, dishwasher and heat-producing appliances during the hottest parts of the day as much as possible to cut cooling costs.

To learn more about reducing heat gain, contact AirConditioningSoutheast.com to find a contractor near you.