By Brad Lindsay,
CEO of Horizon Energy Systems LLC
Q. Why are some of my rooms hotter than others?
A. From the moment the discharge air leaves the cold indoor evaporator coil it begins losing energy (picking up heat). This is from the thermal heat gain in the ducts from the 140 degree attic. The longer the duct run, the more comfort issues there are. Every bit lost in the attic from heat gain through the air distribution systems equates to lost energy (less comfort) at the supply register. The solution: install space quilt duct wrap over the ducts and air handler, add a quality attic fan, or install a ductless mini split for comfort.
Q. Does adding more attic insulation help save energy?
A. Yes, in a cold climate, like putting a sweater or jacket on to keep your body heat in. We pack our walls and ceilings to keep heat in a house, not out. Basic thermodynamic principles dictate that heat always moves from a higher temperature to a lower temperature. In a cold climate, heat is flowing out through the walls and ceiling. It’s widely accepted that adding more insulation the attic makes a house warmer, easier to heat, and uses less energy for heating. However, in a hot sunny climate, insulation captures, stores, and then re-emits solar heat into the living area all night long and is recharged the next day by the sun. You can find more info here: savenrg.com/sweatereffect.htm. Here is how to mitigate this: savenrg.com/tcm.htm.
Q. I’m thinking about adding solar to my house. Is it a good idea?
A. Solar is a great idea, especially living in a sunny environment. The ROI on solar is based on how much energy is offset by the production of solar energy. It then becomes evident that the more efficient the house is, the less energy it needs. This being said, we prefer to embrace “reduce, then produce” which simply means making the house as efficient as possible before sizing the solar is the prudent thing to do. This lowers the size (and related costs) of a solar system, extends the life of your HVAC system, and significantly increases comfort. Our patented Space Quilt product for attics has been proven to be the best method for accomplishing this.
Q. My garage is hot—what’s the best way to make it comfortable?
A. I would start by reducing the heat coming through the ceiling with our proven Space Quilt product that simply rolls out over the ceiling. After that you can install a 120V ductless inverter mini split and turn your garage into a comfortable living space. Find more information at minisplitguys.com.