There are several ways to help ensure your house will stay cooler during the summer months. The top four most important areas to consider when doing a check of your home’s efficiency are:
- Caulking around doors and windows
- Weather stripping around doors
- New air filters and clean A/C unit
- Attic insulation and air flow
Inspect the caulking around doors and windows.
New caulking will remain flexible and in good order for several years. Exposed to our extreme climate changes here in North Texas, however, even the best caulking will break down and begin to crack and peal away after only one to two years.
Broken or cracked caulk around doors and windows will allow heat to enter your home in these areas. It is important to make an inspection of these areas every spring and repair accordingly.
Check the weather stripping around doors.
Just like caulking, weather stripping will break down and become brittle over time. This will reduce its effectiveness in preventing heat from entering from around and below exterior doors.
Check your exterior doors every spring to be sure weather stripping is not ripped or cracked and is still making good contact with doors. Also check weather stripping at the bottom of doors to be sure it has not ripped away.
Don’t forget the garage door.
Even though you might not consider the door from your home to the garage to be an exterior door, consider how hot your garage can get during the summer. If the weather stripping around this door is not functioning properly, that heat will be entering your home.
Replacing your air filters at the blower unit and/or return vents every couple of months is important year round to keep your air conditioning unit running more efficiently and giving it a longer life. It is especially important during the summer months to help it cool your home quicker and easier.
Another important factor to consider is the outdoor unit itself. You want to be sure the unit is clear of debris and shrubs, and that the fins and coils are clean.
Is the insulation and air flow in your attic sufficient?
Have you ever had the misfortune of having to go into your attic during a one hundred degree day? It’s not very pleasant and you can not spend very much time up there at all.
Well, consider all that heat sitting above your living area. If your attic is not properly insulated it is going to make it that much more difficult to keep your home cool. Even the slightest deficiency in any area of your attic will affect the ability of your A/C to cool the living area efficiently.
Your attic needs to breath.
Think of your attic as a lung. It needs to inhale and exhale to function properly. The vents in the soffits and gables take in or inhale air while the vents on your roof, whether motorized or manual, push out, or exhale, air.
This air circulation in your attic is not only important to the longevity of your roof, but also helps your air conditioning function more efficiently by keeping your attic cooler.
It is important to be sure soffit and gable vents are not damaged and clear of debris to be able to take in air. Also, be sure motorized roof vents are operating properly. They are on a thermostat and will turn on when your attic reaches a certain temperature. If you have manual roof vents be sure they are spinning and that the bearings have not gone out.
Keep your home running efficiently.
Although there are many other things to take into account when evaluating the efficiency of your home and keeping it cooler in the summer. The four areas covered above rank highest in terms of helping with home efficiency.
- Are doors and windows caulked?
- Is weather stripping in good condition?
- Have air filters been replaced?
- Is outside unit clear and clean?
- Is attic getting good air flow?
As always, if you have any questions on how to inspect your home or perform any of the above fixes, submit your question or comment below and I will get back to you shortly.