Maintaining a cool temperature in your home doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend a lot of money. For instance, in the United States, homeowners can save approximately 20-50% on their air conditioning costs annually by buying new HVAC equipment. Coupling this purchase with simple fixes such as caulking windows and ensuring that they are closed while using the air conditioner will help immensely with cooling costs in your home.
The following are some energy-saving methods you can use to cool your home this summer.
Use a Fan
Operating a fan is cheap, and it makes a house feel four to six degrees cooler. Therefore, in rooms you use often, it is recommendable to install ceiling fans. You should also ensure that it spins counterclockwise during summer. A motion detector that turns the fan on when someone enters the room can also make a significant difference. However, if you possess pets that move in and out of the room, you need to install an additional manual switch.
Use Sun Blockers
Approximately 20% of summer heat penetrates your house as sunlight shines through the windows. Therefore, to reduce the amount of heat entering your home, you need to install blinds or curtains. When the shades are drawn, a well-insulated home gains about 1% per degree per hour when the external temperatures are more than 85 degrees.
You also need to focus on the west-facing rooms during the day. Blinds and shades you can consider are Venetian-type micro-blinds, roller shades, insulated curtains, and reflective curtains. On the exterior of your home, you can also plant shade trees or install awnings.
Use Smart Cooking Methods
Appliances that generate heat may hinder your cooling goals. For instance, using an oven for baking cookies can raise your room temperature by 10 degrees. This may increase your cooling costs by approximately 2-5%. Therefore, you should opt to cook hot meals outdoors on the grill. Wait to cook in bulk on chillier days or when it’s cooler at night or early in the morning. It is also recommended to operate the clothes dryer and dishwasher at night.
Get Cooler Lights
Although luminous bulbs do not contribute more heat like unshaded windows, they add heat to your home and increase the perceived temperature, which can send you to the thermostat for relief. If you want to minimize this hot light effect and save on lighting costs, you need to replace the incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents. These bulbs can save you approximately 75% energy since they emit 90% less heat.
Seal Air Leaks
Areas where cold air infiltrates your home during winter are hot air routes during summer. Unfortunately, hot air is also characterized by high humidity. You can use tools such as exterior-rated silicone caulk, a flashlight, and a lot of expanding foam insulation to find and seal the air leaks. Sealing these leaks enhances the cooling of your home at night. This can improve your sleep quality, as the best sleeping temperature is between 60 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit for most adults.
It is also crucial to focus on the basement, attic, and crawl space. You need to pay attention to anything that passes through the walls or ceiling, like plumbing and electrical conduits, ductwork, and bath and kitchen vents.
Snug Up the Ducts
Leaky ducts can affect air conditioning efficiency. You should ensure that your ductwork balances with the return and supply sides of the system for it to function efficiently and safely. Repairing one side can affect the other side. Leak-prone places include where ducts attach to outlets and the return plenum, where the branch ducts link with the trunk line. It would help if you also insulated ducts that connect the hot attic with the blanket fiberglass insulation.
If the duct repairs are complex, you should consult an HVAC expert. As the professional is repairing your ducts, ensure they check the air-conditioning unit by unplugging coils, cleaning filters, lubing the fan, and unblocking the drains. Although repairs may be costly, you should consider hiring experts once in a while. In 2018, most homeowners spent between $5,000 and $10,000 improving their homes. This may seem expensive, so use your funds now to improve your home to save money in the long term.
Living in a cool environment during the summer enhances comfort in your homestead. Luckily, you do not need to spend a fortune to achieve it. Follow these handy tips and hire the necessary help to cool your home down on a budget now!