It’s well known that the insulation in your home has substantial HVAC effects on keeping your home comfortable. Less well known is that the furniture inside your home plays a role as well.
Most insulation works by holding air in tiny pockets that resist temperature change. Upholstered furniture works the same, especially those that use foam and polyfill as padding. Each of those materials holds considerable amounts of air, which act the same in a couch as they do in the walls and attic.
Upholstered furniture provides thermal comfort because its air mass keeps you warm or cool. If you’ve ever sat on a hard plastic or metal chair in the winter or summer, you probably know how uncomfortable it can be for any length of time. It will be hot and sticky in the summer and extremely cold in the winter. Solid plastic has no insulating properties.
Besides the cushions, furniture also affects your thermal comfort by:
- Color. Lighter colors reflect heat and will feel cooler in the summer. Darker colors are warmer in the winter since they hold onto heat. Some people choose light-colored outdoor furniture to provide natural cooling on warm days outdoors. If you like warm temperatures during the cooler seasons, lean toward darker indoor furniture.
- Thermal absorption. The soft woods such as pine absorb temperatures better than hardwood furniture made from oak and maple that are denser. Using hardwood furniture in your home would have HVAC effects you wouldn’t want since heating and cooling costs would increase if you didn’t use cushions for better comfort.
- Use rugs on hard surface floors for temperature stability year-round. Dark rugs will be warmer while light rugs will be cooler.
Upholstered furniture and rugs increase the number of fibers and lint in the air, which could clog your HVAC system’s air filters more quickly. Check filters more often if you increase textiles in your home.
If you’d like to learn more HVAC effects of furniture and insulation, contact the pros at Jackson & Sons, providing HVAC services for eastern North Carolina homeowners.Healthy Home, Healthy Heart: Improve Your IAQ and Your Health » « Can Clean Windows Boost Your Energy Efficiency?