The start of the cooling season means higher energy bills, but you can save money by using less A/C. Prepare your home for the heat. Energy-efficient homes resist heat gain better and cut the need for cooling. Heat naturally travels to cooler temperatures, but when you place barriers to entry, that transfer slows. Consider making these changes so your cooling system doesn’t have to work as hard:
- Check the insulation in your attic. If you have 10 inches or less, consider adding more to stop heat transfer in the summer. Insulation is the most affordable product to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It’s durable and starts working immediately.
- Cool the attic. Temperatures can climb to extreme levels in the attic on a sunny summer day. An attic fan will pull cooler air through it, preventing heat gain that can seep through the ceilings into your living spaces.
- Seal air leaks. Look around the exterior window and door frames for cracks. Use caulk to seal the windows and weatherstripping for leaking door frames and window sashes. Look at the foundation and in the attic for leaks around pipes and wires. Expanding foam will seal the larger leaks.
- Use fans. Ceiling fans help you save money by using less A/C – they create a wind-chill effect when they’re blowing the air toward you, helping you feel cooler. These fans use a fraction of the electricity that the A/C uses.
- Shade the windows. Heavy drapes will block some of the heat coming from the sun, as will reflective window film. This film blocks heat transfer and works year-round to moderate temperatures indoors. Another approach is to place shade screens over the windows. Planting deciduous trees and shrubs also will cut heat gain.
- Manage appliances. Not using your oven, dishwasher and dryer during the heat of the day lessens the heat gain indoors.
- Take advantage of natural cooling. When evenings and early mornings are cool, open up your windows for natural cooling. Just make sure to close them before the temperatures outside rise above your interior temperature.
While you can save money by using less A/C, having your system properly maintained will make it run more efficiently, and inexpensively, when you are using it. To learn more, contact Air Treatment, Inc., providing exceptional HVAC services for Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point since 1967.
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