7 Reasons Why Your House is Hot
HVAC Questions & Answers
There are not many things more frustrating than living inside a hot house, other than maybe waking up in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat from a hot house. You may be asking yourself questions like: My air conditioner is newer...I just had it repaired...what gives? Well, there are many reasons a house has a tough time cooling down. Let's take a look at some fo the most common factors like:
Below, are 7 common reasons that can keep a house hot, even if the AC is blowing cold:
Thermostat issues. Make sure the batteries in your thermostat are still good and the device is on and running. Sounds a bit silly, but it's a very common and easy fix. Next, check and make sure the device is set to the "cool" position and that the temperature on the thermostat is set to a number cooler than what it is outside. If, after checking your batteries and the settings on your device, the A/C is still not cutting on, you may need a repair or a replacement. If you're a DIY'er and wish to purchase a new thermostat and install it, great! If you need assistance with repairing or replacing your thermostat, call a local A/C repair company for help.
Leaking Ductwork. It's very common that tears or small rips develop in your home's A/C ducts. This is definitely an issue that would need attention, as these perforations can cause huge air leaks to occur. While your compressor is working hard to pump cool air into your home, much of that could be getting released into the unoccupied areas of your house, making it very difficult to cool off. If you have leaking ductwork, a technician can easily locate the area(s) and seal it up.
Heat Gains from Windows. Heat gains occur when sunlight shines through a window, making a room warmer. Newer more efficient windows do not experience heat gains near as pronounced, as homes with older windows. In the dead of summer, this can really heat up a house even when the AC is blowing hard and cold. The short term and easy solution is to shut the blinds or draw your drapes during the hottest parts of the day and especially on windows where the sun is beaming in. The more permanent yet more expensive fix is to upgrade your glass. Technology has really come a long way in the world of energy efficiency. Double or even triple pane windows help to keep your house cool in a big way.
Insulation Issues. When home insulation comes to mind, most people think of trapping heat into the house during the cold months of winter. However, it also helps to keep cool air inside during the warmer months. Taking it even further, good home insulation absorbs solar heat to reduce those gains inside your house. It's important to have enough insulation, as well. A good indicator is to take a look inside your attic space. The insulation should be thick enough to reach about the same levels as your wall studs or joists (beans of wood running parallel across your attic floor). If these studs or joists are overly exposed, your home may not be efficient as it could be.
If you're a DIY'er, batt-and-roll is the easiest type insulation to install. You can get it at any home improvement store and comes in big rolls that you cut to fit. However, the world of insulation has also made great strides with spray foam insulation. If you're able to install it, it is much superior to its predecessor, although pricier.
Insulation is rated by its R-value, which is the indicator to its level of heat resistance. Consider this when installing it and remember that the higher the R-value, the greater insulating properties it contains. Check Energy Star's R-Value Recommendations for your area.
Low on Refrigerant. An A/C system cannot cool properly if it is low on refrigerant. There's not really a whole to expand on that. However, if it is low on refrigerant, you do need find out why and seal any leaks that may be detected. A certified HVAC technician can run a leak detection test and locate the issue.
Air Filter. Over time, your AC's air filter will collect and get clogged with dust, dirt, pollen, and whatever other goodies that float around in the air. This obstructs airflow and can definitely make your house feel warm. If this is all that's wrong with your system, simply replace it with a quality filter and thank your lucky stars that you don't need an AC repair.
A/C Preventative Maintenance
Performing A/C preventative maintenance is a commonly overlooked process that doesn't take much effort and can save you tons of money over time. Learn about your air conditioning system and how-to tips and tricks on our Resource page.
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