There’s a lot to be said about comfort during winter months when nobody complains about warmth, but during the rest of the year, having a house that’s too hot can send family members who neither work nor attend school scurrying to air conditioned libraries and malls.
To get an answer to the question, “why is my house so hot?” consider one or more of the following 10 reasons and you should find the answer you seek.
1) You’re losing cool air.
This explanation places blame on a malfunctioning air conditioning system or units, though a switched-off thermostat could also be the culprit. You may need a new filter, patched ductwork or an infusion of Freon (if your system is old) to mediate your hot house.
2) Your windows are to blame.
HVAC systems can’t function efficiently if leaks, cracks, deteriorating window frames, glazing issues and/or ill-fitting windows are reasons your house is hot. A thorough inspection can point you in the direction of fixes that may not necessarily require you to replace one or more windows.
3) Your rooms face south.
When constant rays of sunshine flood interior rooms, even textiles and artwork can fade, so ordinary curtains may not help. You need thermal drapes. Fortunately, it’s easy to find these window treatments in many colors and prices.
4) Your house traps heat and won’t let go.
Heat continually rises until it reaches your roof tiles and ceiling space. Then, it has has nowhere to go but down, which is why your house is hot. On the other hand, heat rising from under your floor adds another element. In both cases, insulation can usually solve the problem. You can open an attic windows to release some hot air from inside if you want.
5) Your walls absorb heat from outside.
Bricks are popular for both practical and aesthetic reasons, but did you know that bricks store heat? If there’s no insulation behind those bricks, your home could get hot over the summer. You can’t do anything about the bricks, but you can add insulation to block heat they absorb.
6) You’re too cheap to run the air-conditioner.
Rising energy costs are nothing to sneeze at, but you can invest in fixes capable of reducing discomfort. Whole-house fan systems get two thumbs up from the U.S. Department of Energy
7) Your house consists of multiple levels.
The advent of the zoned air conditioning system has done more to help homeowners stay cool than all the cold beer on the planet. Add the usual suspects–heat rising, heat-absorbing walls, trapped ceiling heat–and a zoned HVAC system may be the only answer to your hot house.
8) You leave too many registers/vents open.
If rooms are not being used, close the vents and shut the rooms off from the rest of the house so your HVAC system can perform its job. By shutting down vents that disburse cooled air, you deliver more relief to hot rooms where vents are left open.
9) You rely only on your HVAC system.
It’s one of the least expensive fixes, yet lots of people don’t think about adding ceiling fans because they assume air conditioning is all they need to stay comfortable day and night. By working in concert with ceiling fans, your rooms stay cooler and you could get a summer power bill break, too.
10) You’re surrounded by heat generators.
Just about everything generating power in your home can increase room temperature. People, pets, internet routers and refrigerators all increase heat and if you’ve ever slept with a cat or dog, you know we’re not exaggerating. Next to turning everything off, there’s little you can do, though buying a pet bed for Rex or Fluffy could get you some relief.