Recessed lights are a popular lighting option for homeowners. Although the lighting can add style to your home, it can lead to higher than expected energy costs. If you have recessed lights in your home, here is what you need to know.
How Does Recessed Lighting Raise Your Energy Costs?
Recessed lighting can be responsible for considerable air leakage. The lighting can allow a path for air from outside to enter your home and even impact your air quality. As the air leakage continues, your cooling system has to work harder to maintain desirable temperatures within your home. When this happens, your energy costs will rise.
Even if your attic is insulated, there could still be some problems with leakage. The air from the lighting still gets into the attic, which means the main part of the home is still losing cool air. The result is still higher than expected energy costs.
What Can You Do?
One of the most important steps you can take to avoid pushing your cooling system from working overtime is to opt for insulated recessed lighting. The cans for the lighting need to be sealed with fire-rated materials to help lower the amount of air that is being leaked.
Insulation contact recessed lighting also have lower wattage, which means that less heat is being produced. In addition to opting for insulating lighting, you need to ensure the light is sealed with caulk. The caulk is better for sealing than just bolting or wedging the lighting into place.
Another option is to remove the recessed lighting and replace it with a different style. Any option, such as track lighting, that does not result in a hole being in your ceiling would be far better for your cooling system.
What About Your Cooling System?
In addition to reconsidering your lighting, you also need to have your cooling system inspected by a HVAC professional. He or she can ensure that it is operating at its optimal best. Issues, such as a refrigerant leak, can cause the cooling system to work overtime and drive up your energy costs.
If your energy costs continue to rise, consider having an energy audit conducted. The audit will not only assess your cooling system's efficiency, but also your appliances that are using energy to determine if there are changes that could be made to lower your energy bills. Talk to your HVAC professional about conducting an assessment so you can receive energy saving recommendations.