How to Beat the Maryland Summer Heat – 5 Tips for Cooler Living

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
April 28, 2021
  |   3 Comments

This article was first posted on April 13, 2021 on the Hometrust Remodeling blog written by Eric Gans – Certified Home Energy Auditor, Building Analyst, Envelope Professional, Blogger, Dog Lover, Runner, Father

Look to building science and having a proper assessment performed to help you make the right improvement choices for home comfort in the hot summer months.

A new HVAC system is likely not the right solution for a cooler home when it is blazing outside!

Temperatures in the attics of Maryland homes during summer months can go as high as 150-160 degrees.  It is a brutal place with stifling air and high amount of humidity.

When an attic is not properly vented, air sealed and insulated the stagnant hot air and pressure is too much for an old insulation system making summer days at home a drag.

Add leaky ducts to the situation and it makes for a long, hot summer.

reasons for a hot home in summer

 

Watch how this BPI Certified Pro and Owner of Insulwise in PA Breaks it Down in this Excellent Animated Video

Consider this:

Maryland homeowners that have a minimum insulation level in the attic equal to R-19, reflective roof shingles and proper ventilation can experience up to two-thirds less solar heat gain than those with characteristics such as little to no insulation, dark roofing shingles and no attic ventilation.

There are five things we recommend to make an impact on your summer comfort.

  1. Air Seal Your Attic
  2. Insulate Your Attic
  3. Seal Your Accessible Ducts 
  4. Encapsulate Your Crawl Space
  5. Improve Attic Ventilation

AIR SEAL YOUR ATTIC 

If you want to know if you should air seal your attic, then you can ask yourself a few basic questions and quickly arrive at the answer.

The easiest way to know is to determine if you have air sealing in your attic now.  If not, then you definitely need air sealing.

When the hot build up of air in the attic creates pressure then the cracks that are left unsealed are gateways for the heat to enter your home.

If you want to learn much more about air sealing and watch how it is done in different areas of your attic and basement then check out this cool article with demos.

attic air sealing

INSULATE YOUR ATTICMaryland Attic Insulation Resource 

If you are having comfort issues in your home there is no doubt that a good place to start looking for answers is in the attic.

Maryland attic insulation projects can be better understood and considered with a little effort and knowledge.

To get things going you must identify two main things so use this recent write up as a guide to figuring out if insulation is your next move to beat the Maryland summer heat!

SEAL YOUR ACCESSIBLE DUCTS

When it comes to improving home comfort and energy efficiency it is amazing how little attention is paid to sealing HVAC ducts.  Properly sealing leaky HVAC ducts should be a high priority for energy efficiency and comfort.

According to the EPA and other studies, the HVAC ducts in your home can be leaky enough to account for up to as much as 30% of a household’s total energy loss.

So, what can you do?  Check out this article with great information on next steps you can take to seal your accessible ducts.

ENCAPSULATE YOUR CRAWL SPACEcrawl space encapsulation

Let’s face it – you want nothing to do with your crawl space.  You just assume that it does not exist.  You ignore it.  You board it up, lock it and put it out of your mind!

But, it keeps reminding you it’s there.  In the summer when you go down to wash the laundry and you get a whiff of that musty odor that only comes out when it is humid.

A few years ago you poked your head in the crawl space for one reason or another and you noticed several pieces of insulation falling down.

Read this article on what to do with crawl space vents, walls and how to properly seal it up!

IMPROVE ATTIC VENTILATION     

Typically, condensation in the attic starts due to a moisture issue created by introducing two completely different air masses.  A possible issue in summer if the attic is not ventilated properly will certainly contribute to an uncomfortable home.

In hot months a leaking AC HVAC duct in an attic and other HVAC related inefficiency can allow air to seep out and interact with the hot humid attic air, particularly if the attic is not well vented.  This will cause mold and can result in comfort issues.

Read this article to get more insights into how baffles work to ventilate your attic.

What next steps can you take if this all makes sense to you, but you are not sure where to start?

Visit Montgomery Energy Connection to learn more about scheduling a Quick Home Energy Checkup.

  • BGE customers can schedule an appointment here
  • Pepco customers can schedule an in-person or virtual appointment online with Pepco by using pepco.com/QuickHome.
  • Potomac Edison customers can schedule an in-person appointment here or you can check out their Home Energy Analyzer to gain a better understanding of your household energy use and identify ways to improve your efficiency.


3 comments on "How to Beat the Maryland Summer Heat – 5 Tips for Cooler Living"

  1. walter weiss says:

    what about using in rooms? this makes it feel cooler but uses very little energy.

  2. helen says:

    I like this kind of information and that the residents can learn and apply the tips from them

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Thank you Helen, we love when guest bloggers share really helpful information as well! Stay cool this summer!

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