Our most common phone call and/or email comes from frustrated homeowners who have rooms which are difficult to cool in the summer and then difficult to heat in the winter. This leads to their heating and air conditioner systems running longer which costs money, wastes energy, and puts wear and tear on the HVAC system. This in turn lessens the life of the unit and potentially creates expensive service calls. If you drive on Highway 98, there is no shortage of HVAC repair trucks and vans on the road.
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) reports the Earth experienced its fourth warmest surface temperature in 2018. NOAA released their NCEI (National Centers for Environmental Information) in February 2019, which reported the Earth experienced its fourth warmest surface temperature in records dating back to 1880. In fact, the five warmest years on record are now the past five years: 2016, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2014, in that order. February also experienced some of the warmest temperatures for us as well and it’s shaping up to be another hot summer in Destin.
So what are some options to increase comfort and reduce energy? Many would just live with these conditions because they feel there are no real solutions, and some believe the investment is not worth it. There are several innovative products and solutions available to solve all of these problems and can even be tailored to specific needs.
One simple solution is to check window and door seals with a thermal imaging camera. These cameras can detect leaks easily by displaying color changes. If you don’t have access to this type of camera, visual inspections can detect leaks as well. If you can see light around the frames of windows and doors from the outside, your seals need to be adjusted or replaced. Checking attic insulation is also always a good idea. If you can see boards running next to your insulation, you most likely need to add insulation. Blown in insulation and cellulose does settle over time which reduces the effectiveness of the insulation. Another simple inspection, if you have alarm monitoring sensors on windows, is to check if they are discolored. If they were once white and now yellowish, this means they are getting direct sunlight and UV rays could be causing more damage to floors and furniture. ERG window films are virtually clear; reduce 94% of radiant heat and 99.9% of UV rays which creates a more comfortable room and protects your floors and furniture. Another excellent solution are radiant barriers. Radiant barriers help reduce attic temperatures in the summer allowing your ductwork and insulation to work more efficiently, and are an alternative to Spray Foam. When radiant barriers are installed correctly on the rafters (the beams extending from the eaves to the peak of the roof) of the attic, the reflective properties of radiant barriers reflect 97% of the radiant heat from the surface of the roof back outside, which lowers attic temperatures. By lowering attic temperatures, heating and air conditioning systems tend not to run as long or have longer periods before cycling (turning on and off) which extend the life and therefore reduce service calls.
So, what’s Hot? According to NOAA and NASA, the Earth. What’s not? Doing nothing about it. Check the efficiency of your home or call a professional to help you determine ways to increase comfort and lower energy bills. By lowering energy bills and increasing efficiency, you have a positive impact on reducing your CO2 footprint.
Chris Balzer is Founder and President of Emerald Coast Energy Solutions and resides in the Santa Rosa Beach area with his wife and 3 children. For more information on how to save this summer and become energy efficient, schedule an inspection by calling (850) 588-2870, visit www.trusteces.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Beat the heat.