This year has been a hot year, and many of us are getting a lot of use from our air conditioners. During a hot summer, nothing feels quite as good as stepping into an air-conditioned home. The down side? They take a lot of energy, and they can be quite expensive. The good news is you have different options. Cooling your house doesn’t have to be such an energy vacuum. Here’s a few ways to keep your home cool and save on energy throughout the year.
Installing a high-efficiency air conditioner alone can reduce your home’s energy use by as much as 4% annually. This isn’t the only way to maximize your cooling, though! Having an efficient air conditioner is definitely great. However, you can also take steps to reduce the need for air conditioning by lowering the overall temperature in your home. There are three main heat sources throughout the home that can be addressed. Heat from the outdoors seeping in, heat from sunlight through the windows, and heat from energy indoors.
Preventing the outdoor heat from entering is a nearly impossible task, however you can greatly reduce the amount through proper insulation. Good insulation will lock in your home’s temperature, preventing heat and cold from escaping or entering. Good insulation in the walls is important. Additionally, one of the most effective methods of insulating for temperature is by adding extra insulation in the ceiling. If you live in an older home that has trouble cooling, insulation might be your culprit. You can talk to a contractor to have it evaluated.
When it comes to sunlight through the windows, a simple upgrade in window coverings can make a major impact. Blinds and drapes can reduce heat grain from sunlight by as much as 45% during the summer. If you have a porch you like to use during the summer, awnings are also a great option. Awnings can reduce heat gain from sunlight by up to approximately 77% during the summer, depending on the direction of the window. The bonus with window treatments is that they are quick, relatively inexpensive, and provided added design appeal.
When it comes to reducing heat from inside sources, one of the major culprits is appliances. You may never eliminate heat given off by kitchen appliances, especially the oven. However, replacing older appliances with newer, more efficient alternates can both save energy per use and keep your home a little cooler.
Need a little more? Fans are a great way to keep air moving. Ceiling fans are one of the most effective ways to circulate air through the home. They can take a little work to install if you don’t already have the setup. A good alternate or addition to ceiling fans are window fans. They can be picked up from a local store and require little to no installation. Setting a window fan by an open door or window will keep the cool air moving through the home, and prevent the temperature from rising through stagnation.
There are multiple steps you can take to cool your home through the summer, each provides a unique benefit at a unique price point. When you need a little more, it’s worth contacting a cooling professional to inspect your home’s cooling system. A little investment now can not only provide a more comfortable next few summers, it can also reduce your home’s energy use. For older homes, we recommend having your insulation checked. Even with a good cooling system, poor insulation creates wasted energy as the cool air will escape outside. When you are ready to have either of these inspected and evaluated, we can connect you with the right professional for your home! At Responsible Contractors, our aim is to give you the best in each industry. Contact us for a referral, or visit us online at www.responsiblecontractors.com to find a cooling or insulation professional you can be confident in.