Summertime can evoke a mixture of emotions, from happiness over the warmer weather, to dread over the impending hike in energy costs. Fortunately there are steps you can take to reduce AC usage and save energy. Here are some great tips to get you started:
Tips for Saving
- Focus on your windows. The summer sun comes in at a higher angle than in the winter, when the angle is much more shallow. Shade east- and west-facing windows, with trees or high shrubbery, a horizontal trellis or a shaded pergola, all of which can help reduce heat gain by as much as 80 percent. Opt to plant deciduous trees or climbing greenery on the south side of your home, both of which will allow for heat gain from the shallow sun during the winter months.
- Cool down the exterior. When it’s time to paint or replace your roof, choose light, reflective colors and materials such as Energy Star roofing products.
- Schedule annual preventive maintenance. A clean, well-tuned AC will run more effectively and efficiently than a dirty, neglected one.
- Nix the inefficient appliances. Aging or inefficient appliances and light bulbs generate a significant amount of heat and should be replaced with energy-efficient CFL or LED lighting, and Energy Star-certified appliances.
- Tighten up your home. Consider adding another layer of insulation in the attic, and locate and seal air leaks around your home’s perimeter. Use caulking or weatherstripping where necessary and don’t forget about leaky ducts, which can account for as much as 20 percent of your energy bill; cracks or breaks should be sealed with foil-backed tape or duct mastic.
- Get the air moving. A ceiling fan can help reduce AC usage and save energy in rooms that are occupied, as the wind chill effect cools you through accelerated perspiration on your skin. Since they only cool the occupants and not the room, turn them off when you leave.
For more tips on how to reduce AC usage and save energy, give us a call at Carefree Comfort, Inc. Heating & Air Conditioning, serving homeowners in Highland Park and the surrounding areas.
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