The Importance of Being Insulated - Your Air Conditioner Can't Do All the Work

Many homeowners only think about their home’s insulation in the winter, when they feel a cold breeze coming in through a closed window. However, in the summer insulation is equally important since a warm breeze blowing in through that same window will cause you air conditioner to work harder and longer.

Keeping windows and doors closed when operating your air conditioner is simply common knowledge. However, during exceptionally hot or humid days, your system will have a lot more work to do. There is no reason for your air conditioner to have to work that hard just to make you comfortable. It can use a little help from you to function properly.

Essentially, insulation is designed to keep cold air out and warm air in during the winter and vice versa in the summer. If your home is properly insulated your heating and air conditioning system can effectively do its job. And, when thinking about insulation, your mind probably goes straight to the attic. And yes you should make sure your attic has the insulation needed as it will make a big difference in the efficiency of your system and energy bills. But you should also make sure to look at your doors and windows. Glass is probably one of the worst insulating materials in your home allowing heat into your home and causing your air conditioner to work harder.

If your system doesn’t seem to be doing the job up to par, it may not be necessary to call for air conditioning repair. Rather it could be a matter of better insulating your home. As stated, windows can be the biggest culprit but installing a heavier barrier through these portals to your outside world can help eliminate some of your problems. Storm windows or double or even triple-glazed windows can help keep the temperature in your home more comfortable and take some of the work load off your air conditioner.

There are numerous products on the market that help you block out the sun and reduce its effects on the temperature in the room, but of course you will be giving up some of your view. This trade off of using shades or blinds when the sun is shining bright however will result in better comfort and lower utility bills.

Another area that you can help take the load off your system is with the insulation that is wrapped around the pipes of the large refrigerant pipes. On hot humid days it will sweat. Its outside location makes it subject to the detriments of the sun and weather and will need to be changed occasionally. The type of pipe insulation sold in most home improvement stores is designed to keep water pipes from freezing and if used on your air conditioner pipes when the line sweats, it will destroy the insulation.

Insulation designed to go around air conditioner tubing is a closed cell type and resistant to water absorbsion and you should look for one that is also rated to protect against ultraviolet rays from the sun. Remember, this insulating tubing will need to be cut in order to go around the pipe and you will need to glue it back together once it is installed. When you replace the insulation and it goes through your outside wall, fill the gap with an expanding foam filler to maintain the home’s insulating seal.

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