Texas summers are hot! If you’ve already lived here for awhile, you know this. If you’ve just moved here, you’ll soon find out what we’re talking about!
But we have some tips for how to keep your house cool in our long, hot summers:
1. Control your attic space.
This is really a year-round tip, but it’s especially important in the summer. You’ve got to get control of your attic temperature! Why is that important? If you think about it, when your attic is hot, everything in your attic is hot. Your air conditioner and ductwork in the attic are getting destroyed every summer with the high heat and lack of airflow in your attic. So the very most important thing you can do is to protect the space in your attic that’s exposed to the sun the most, ideally with a radiant barrier.
Your home’s exposure to the sun is mostly vertical, so we always say to start from the top down. When you address your attic space using radiant barrier, foil or copper to reflect the heat, or you add in tons of airflow to get some good air exchange up there and keep the heat down, you control most of your home's exposure to the sun from the top down.
Once you get control of the attic temperature, insulation keeps rooms at a consistent temperature. It keeps the cooler air down where you want it in the summer, and keeps heat from escaping in the winter. It’s important to make sure that your insulation levels are appropriate throughout the house. But if you control the attic space well, you might not need as much insulation.
Don’t forget about your walls. It’s important that your walls are properly insulated as well. Sometimes older houses don’t have any wall insulation!
But remember: You can have three feet of insulation in your attic to keep your house cool, but that does nothing for the systems that are in your attic! That insulation is not protecting the equipment and ductwork that are in your attic.
After you get control of your attic temperature and insulate properly, then it’s time to go around your windows and doors and take care of any cracks or any spaces where you can see sunlight coming in. That’s approximately the last 10% of keeping your house cool.
So get control of your attic space! This will cool your house down in the summer and keep it warmer in the winter. Address insulation levels in the attic and the walls, and weatherize by getting control of all the doors, windows, the attic hatch, and any places where air might escape.
As always, we’re happy to come out to take a look at your attic and see how you can be more comfortable and save money on your electric bills!
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