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Lighting, HVAC, and Your Energy Bills

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You may group lighting and HVAC systems together as home features that impact your energy use, but did you know that one can directly impact the efficiency of the other? Your choice of lighting can decrease heating and cooling efficiency in your Dallas, Texas, home. Making smart choices for illuminating your home can lighten your utility bill.

Heat-Generating Lights

If you’ve ever used a wax melter or Easy Bake Oven, you know how much heat a light bulb can produce. Traditional incandescent bulbs give off 90 percent of their energy in the form of heat. A well-lit room is a very hot room when you’re using this type of lighting. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) run much cooler. Use these instead to illuminate your rooms without heating them up as well.

Energy Loss Through Recessed Fixtures

Recessed lights look great, but they’re often added without much thought to energy efficiency. Recessed lights are often installed by making a hole in the ceiling and pushing insulation back in the attic. Lights that are not rated for insulation contact leave a major gap in your home’s envelope.

Fortunately, you can fix this problem without getting rid of your recessed lights. Make sure your lighting fixtures are airtight so your heating and cooling can’t seep through into the attic space above. Use fixtures that are insulation-contact-rated so they’re safe to use with your attic insulation. Install fiberglass insulation in the attic above your light fixtures and make sure it covers the space from wall-to-wall, with no gaps.

Considerations for Natural Light

Using natural light from windows will eliminate the cost of using electric lights. However, windows are susceptible to heat loss and gain. Use windows with a low-e coating to reflect heat. This can help minimize heat loss in winter and keep heat gain at bay in summer, easing the strain on your HVAC system.

Are you looking for more energy-efficient ways to manage your heating and cooling costs? Contact Willard Heating, Cooling & Plumbing at 972-564-9785. We’ll help you find affordable solutions for heating and cooling your home.

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