Home Heating and Cooling: Three Sources of Heat Gains and Losses in Homes

Posted on: 26 March 2020


Want to enjoy year-round comfort in your home? If so, then heating and cooling system installation is essential for your home. A heating system will help to keep you and your family warm and comfortable in colder weather while a cooling system runs to beat the heat in warmer weather.

One major issue that you will have to address if you want to get reliable and efficient service from your indoor climate-control units is heat gains and losses. Heat transfer into or out of the home can significantly hurt the performance and efficiency of your home heating and cooling systems, leading to high energy costs. 

Here are some common sources of home heat gains and losses and what to do to prevent them. 

1. Inadequate or Inefficient Home Insulation

Is your home sufficiently insulated to minimise the transfer of heat from or into the building? A lack of adequate insulation in your home's roof, attic, walls and ceilings can result in a significant loss of cold or hot air from the interior of the home. As a result, your heating and cooling equipment will need to run harder than they should so as to achieve the desired room temperatures. 

Home insulation can also result in increased heating and cooling costs if its efficiency rating is lower than that required to retard the heat flow rate in your home. Make sure you install insulation whose energy performance suits its intended application. For example, hot attics usually require higher-performance insulation products than the walls because they transfer more heat. 

Also, makes sure there is ample ventilation in your attic to lighten your cooling unit's workload. The heat from the attic can reach extremely high temperatures in summer weather, contributing to a significant percentage of total heat gains in the home.

2. Draughty Homes

The presence of air leaks in the envelope of a home reduces the energy performance and efficiency of the home's heating and cooling systems. Attic and roof leaks, as well as cracks in walls and around window and door frames, can all lead to air leaks that cause draughts in homes. 

Uncontrolled draught increases the amount of power required to heat and cool a home, thus wasting energy dollars. Draught-proofing your home will help to minimise energy waste from air leaks in the building envelope. You can reduce draughts by sealing any gaps in the walls of your home, weather-stripping doors, caulking window frames and sealing air leaks in your attic. 

3. Untreated Glass Windows

Solar heat radiation through glass windows can lead to significant heat transfer in a home, making it more difficult to keep your home cool and comfortable. Installing sun-blocking window treatments, such as blinds and shades can help to improve the efficiency of your home's cooling system.

If you insulate your home properly, draught-proof the home and treat your glass windows with solar heat-deflecting products, you should be able to maximise the performance and efficiency of your home heating and cooling system while keeping domestic energy bills at a minimum. Talk to an HVAC contractor near you today if you need a quote for your domestic heating and cooling system installation.