Staying cool in the oppressive Georgia heat can be very expensive in the summer. Cooling season is coming right up, and now is the time to tackle those home improvement projects that will end up saving you a pretty penny on energy costs while at the same time increasing your comfort level. These easy, low-cost and no-cost home improvements are almost guaranteed to save you money this summer, and we only say “almost” because our lawyers made us.
Schedule your annual cooling system tune-up.
An A/C tune-up is the number one way to prevent common – but expensive – problems, extend its operating life, improve your comfort level, and increase its energy efficiency to save you money on cooling costs. A neglected air conditioner will use up to 25 percent more electricity than one that’s properly maintained.
Seal air leaks.
No matter how efficient your air conditioner is, air leaks will cost you in the form of the extra energy your system requires in order to compensate for the warm air constantly flowing through leaky doors, windows, and service entrances. Seal air leaks with silicon caulk and weatherstripping.
Seal and insulate your ducts.
The Department of Energy estimates that the typical home’s ducts leak out 20 to 30 percent of the air that enters them. Thoroughly inspect your exposed ductwork and seal holes, cracks, and loose joints with metal tape or mastic duct sealant. Insulate the ducts in hot spaces like the attic or crawlspace to keep the air inside from heating up as it moves through.
Install a programmable thermostat.
For every degree you set back your thermostat for a period of eight hours, you can save up to 3 percent on your cooling costs. A programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to control cooling costs. Program it to 72 degrees when you’re at home and 82 degrees or higher when you’re at work or in bed.
Stock up on air filters.
Did you know that a dirty air filter in your air conditioner will reduce its efficiency by about 15 percent? And that it restricts airflow, making your system work harder and consume more energy to keep you cool? And that it’s the number one cause of a wide range of operating problems that require expensive repairs? And that it reduces your indoor air quality? It’s true! Stock up on good quality (MERV 7 or higher) air filters now, and inspect your air filter every month. When you can’t see the white material behind the dust, replace it with a new one.
Combat heat gain.
When the sun hits your house, the radiant energy heats up your rooms. Install sun-blocking shades on windows that get direct sunlight, and keep them closed during the day. Consider planting shrubs, vines, or trees near your house on the sunny sides to provide shade. Painting your house this spring? Choose a light color that will reflect, rather than absorb, the sun’s energy. Getting a new roof? Ask about roofing materials that deflect heat.
For more ways to make your home an energy efficient machine that will lower your cooling bills this summer, contact us at Comfort Control, Inc