Home Improvement Magazine

Stop Summer Drafts to Reduce Energy Usage

By Texter

Fighting Summer Drafts Lowers Your Electric Bill

Seal summer drafts to cut your AC costs. Find out what to look out for and where to look.
Drafts aren’t just for winter. Summer drafts pull in hot, humid air and make your AC run longer. Find out what to look out for and where to look.

We all know drafts in the winter make your house cold. So, summer’s no different with extreme heat outside and AC inside. You can save on your Texas electricity bill by preventing summer drafts from heating your house.

How Do Summer Drafts Happen?

Summer drafts are a result of a phenomenon called the stack effect. The temperature difference between your cool AC home and the outside heat creates air movement. Warm air is less dense than cool air, so it rises. As it rises, the reduction in pressure pulls in cooler air below. In an air conditioned building during the summer, the pressure allows the warm air from outside to move into the top floors. This creates a downward draft that can push cooler air out through lower floors.

But, how does the pressure allow the hot air from outside to get into your house? Just like in the winter, it comes through small gaps near your windows, doors, electric outlets, and chimney.

Common Places Where Hot Air Sneaks In Your House

  • Most commonly around windows
  • Through the framing of your front and back doors
  • Improperly insulated attics, basements, and garages
  • Chimneys
  • Wiring holes, such as electric outlets, lighting fixtures, cable television, phone lines
  • Plumbing vents

Heat and Humidity Raise Your Electric Bill

The stack effect explains the majority of where summer drafts come from. However, you should also consider the humidity along with the heat. While Texas humidity doesn’t increase the heat, it definitely makes you feel warmer. That’s why humidity can raise the electricity demand estimate by 10-15%.

And this higher electricity usage means a higher electric bill. Securing your house against summer drafts can keep your home cooler and your electric bill cheaper.

What Can You Do Against Summer Drafts?

Proper insulation is the key to preventing summer drafts. Of course, that greatly depends on how your house is built. But, your habits and some preventive measures can also reduce drafts.

  1. Close your windows: Whenever your AC is on, keep your windows closed, or better yet, locked.
  2. Weatherproof your windows and doors: Apply weather strips to the sides and bottoms of your doors and windows where there’s a gap.
  3. Reglaze loose windowpanes: If you’re ready for a bit more DIY, reglazing your loose windowpanes can effectively keep hot air out. If you don’t feel like glazing, apply temporary caulk to drafty windows.
  4. Use draft barriers: Laying down pillows, draft barriers, or even plastic can help ventilate drafty windows.
  5. Set back your AC: If your home is warmer, the pressure from the air movement doesn’t allow the outside air inside. Reducing your AC usage lowers your electricity usage and can slow the stack effect.
  6. Consider AC alternatives: AC isn’t the only way to cool down your home. Closing the drapes, using a dehumidifier, and turning on the ceiling fans are effective ways to cool you down while keeping the temperature of your house warmer.

Shop For a Cheaper Electricity Plan

While fighting summer drafts can save you money, you can also save on your electric bill by getting a good deal on a fixed-rate plan.
Visit https://www.texaselectricityratings.com to compare plans in your area and choose the best one for your home.

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