Smart Homeowner Tips for Air Conditioning Energy Savings
Staying cool inside when it’s sweltering outside is a challenge for many homeowners, especially when you want to save money and energy without sacrificing comfort. Fortunately, several methods help minimize air conditioner energy usage by helping your home stay naturally cool.
To do this, first visit the attic. Feel how much hotter it is up here than in your living spaces? One way to reduce heat in the attic (which may radiate into your living spaces) is to install a radiant barrier on the roof’s underside to reflect about 25 percent of attic heat gain. Outside the attic, another option is to repaint the siding a lighter color. But the most effective way to reflect heat is at the windows. Minimize air conditioner usage considerably by installing a combination film on south- and west-facing windows. This allows some light in, which is good news for winter heating, but keeps much of the summer sun out.
Attic insulation is a proven way to block heat transfer from the attic to the living space. Make sure the attic has several inches of fiberglass or cellulose insulation to achieve an insulating value of R-30 to R-49. Then, block the heat at the windows with interior and exterior window coverings. This prevents the light from shining directly in, an occurrence that contributes to 40 percent of your home’s heat gain. Finally, landscape the yard correctly, with tall leafy trees on the south and west sides and low-lying shrubs to shade the foundation.
Remove built-up heat
Open the windows for natural ventilation when it’s cool outside, such as in the morning and throughout the night. Just remember to close up the house before the heat of the day takes hold. Also, avoid opening windows when outside humidity is high.
Reduce heat-generating sources
The stove, oven, dishwasher and washing machine contribute to heat gain from the inside. Operate these during cooler times of day to minimize air conditioner usage in the afternoon. Save energy Use fans and a dehumidifier to keep your home cooler with less air conditioner use. Invest in high-efficiency HVAC appliances when the time comes to upgrade.
For more tips to minimize air conditioner energy usage, please contact us at Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: David Villarreal Fernández