Is it becoming difficult to keep the heat indoors during winters and outdoor during summers? Are you thinking about changing your HVAC system? Before you choose to make the financial commitment, look into different fixtures that may be reducing the HVAC system efficiency.
While recessed lights are an excellent addition to your home, it creates a pathway through the ceiling for energy loss. Thus in summers, it means unnecessary heat gain and higher cooling costs, while in winters you will receive increased heating bills because of heat loss.
As each recessed light adds up to a potential air leakage of a square foot, adding up the number of these compact fixtures add up to heat loss equivalent to leaving a door wide open. So while they may blend perfectly with your room’s interior, the uncluttered aesthetic design usually lowers the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Types of Recessed Lights
Recessed lighting fixtures are often installed by cutting a hole in the home ceiling. However, this compromises the insulation barrier. There are different types of recessed lights available in the market.
- Insulated Contact
Shop for recessed lights that are rated IC for insulated contact. IC designated fixtures may come in contact with the attic insulation but there’s no risk of fire.
- Non-Insulated Contact
If you have shopped for non-IC fixtures, make sure the attic insulation is no less than 3 inches away from the recessed light.
- Airtight Fixtures
Airtight recessed lights use gaskets to create a seal between the ceiling and fixtures. These fixtures are marked as ASTM E283.
Recessed Lights and HVAC Efficiency
If you have a non-insulated attic with recessed lights, a considerable amount of air can escape through it. This makes the HVAC system work harder and reduces its efficiency. According to a study, it was found that unsealed recessed light can allow approximately one-third of a gallon of water to move into the attic.
Air leak through recessed lights is a yearlong problem. While frigid air will get in during winters, hot air will leak into the home during summers. By investing a little money and time, you can eliminate the energy loss.
You can hire an expert to inspect the light and determine what type of recessed light fixtures you have and the way it is attached to the ceiling. Once you know what you are dealing with, your local HVAC expert will help you determine ways to boost the HVAC efficiency.
If you are ready to upgrade your existing recessed lights, choose IC fixtures that are sealed. Also, remember to cover the top of the fixtures with heat resistant insulation.