Ever go outside and your glasses instantly fog over, and your hair frizzes up? Pretty much every day if you live in Houston, right? Our high levels of humidity not only affect our good hair days, but our homes as well.
How Houston humidity affects your home.
Ideally, your home’s humidity levels should be between 30-50 percent. When your home’s humidity levels are higher than normal for prolonged periods of time, mold and mildew could settle in and cause health risks. Too little humidity can dry your skin out and even cause problems sleeping.
Signs the humidity is out of control in your home.
How to read the humidity level in your home.
The easiest ways to determine your home’s humidity level is to look at your thermostat. If you have a smart thermostat, it will read your humidity levels for you. If you don’t have a smart thermostat, consider upgrading to one with dehumidification capabilities.
How to fix the humidity level in your home.
Did you know that 40% of your home’s energy loss escapes through the attic?
Many homes, especially those 10-15 years or older, have attics that are under-insulated, or have never been insulated at all, compromising the comfort, safety, and energy-efficiency that a properly insulated attic can provide.
What is blown-in insulation?
Blown-in or loose-fill insulation, comes in tiny pieces compressed together into one large rectangular block. A special machine is used to break up the large block of insulation and the little pieces are then vacuumed through a long tube that is fed into the attic where the insulation blows out to fill in the necessary spaces in the attic.
Fiberglass, cotton, and mineral wool can all work as loose-fill material, but the far and away top choice for blown-in insulation is fiberglass. Blown-in fiberglass insulation is perfect for filling in tight voids around wiring, pipes, or any area with awkward framing.
The benefits of blown-in attic insulation include:
What does R-value mean and why is it important?
R-value measures how well building insulation can prevent the flow of heat into and out of the home. Higher R-value means better climate control and better energy efficiency for your home, and thus more savings on your next heating and cooling bill.
Here in the Houston area, it is recommended that your attic have a total R-value between R30 to R60. These R-values are a sum, meaning this should be the total R-value once you add up the entire depth of insulation. For example, if you have a type of insulation that has an R-value of R-5 per inch of thickness, you will need a depth of 6-inches of this insulation installed in your attic to reach R-30, or a depth of 12 inches to reach R-60.
How do I know if my attic has enough insulation?
Using R-3 value per inch as an example, if the insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more insulation. If you look across your attic and see the insulation rising well above the floor joists, this means you probably have enough and adding more insulation may not be cost-effective.
How much does it cost?
Insulating your attic properly could save you up to 15% on your home’s heating and cooling energy costs. Country Air professionally installs blown-in insulation and is happy to provide a free estimate customized to your attic space and your home’s needs.
Call us at 281-356-8564 for a free estimate today!
Your AC works hard to keep you comfortable during hot summer days. These tips will make your AC more efficient and keep your home feeling good all summer long (and here in Texas, you know we are talking through December).
1. Have a professional come out to do a spring maintenance check before it gets hot. This will ensure your AC system is tuned up and ready to perform wonders all summer long. Regular maintenance also helps to:
2. Program your thermostat. The less your air conditioner is in use, the less wear and tear it endures and the longer it can last! If you have a programmable thermostat, setting the temperature by day and time is a great way to reduce the unit’s overall usage. Some people think turning their unit off completely while away will result in more energy savings, but this is not true.
We recommend setting the temperature higher during the time you are away and lower during the time you are home. A few degrees higher than your desired indoor temperature is a good general temperature to set for most homes when you are away.
Don’t have a programmable thermostat? We highly recommend getting one! You’ll save money in the long run.
4. Change your air filters. Changing out your HVAC unit’s air filter is a simple process that many of us don’t do as often as we should. Around every 90 days you should replace your filter to help maintain good air flow and help keep particles and allergens out of the air you breathe.
If you have multiple pets in the home or your air conditioning unit is working harder, like in the summer, you may want to replace your filter sooner than 90 days.
5. Turn off exhaust fans. After cooking or bathing, turn off your exhaust fans once they have been running about 20 minutes. If you ever need to replace your exhaust fans consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise options. Never leave exhaust fans running for long periods of time as it can become a fire hazard.
5. Draw the curtains. During the hottest part of the day or times when the sun is shining in your home’s windows, keep your blinds closed and shades drawn. This will help keep your home’s interior temperature from rising and keep your AC from running harder than it needs to. Additionally, planting large shade trees or installing awnings on your home with also help to diffuse the sun’s intense heat.
6. Turn on a fan. If you feel the afternoon heat creeping in, don’t turn down the thermostat just yet. Try turning a ceiling fan on first. This will help to circulate the air and instantly cool you down without making your AC unit run harder.
7. Check your attic insulation. If you have an older home that is not energy efficient you may want to get your attic inspected to see if you need additional blown in attic insulation. The smaller particles of blown insulation fit tightly in all the nooks and crannies of your attic which provides a superior seal, preventing hot or cold air from entering your home.
8. Upgrade your AC unit. If you are looking to replace your AC unit, consider energy-efficient equipment for the best cost savings long term. Ask your HVAC professional about 2-stage or variable speed options.
If your AC unit still can’t keep up it might be time to get it professionally inspected. A Certified HVAC Technician can easily identify and often fix cooling problems on the spot.
Country Air provides 24/7 AC service. Give us a call at 281-356-8564 and let us earn your trust.