Avoid the summertime blues with these great tips to keep your house comfortable and your costs low.
Get Smart About Meals
Aim for meals that don't need heat; salads and sandwiches are fantastic summertime dinners. If you must cook, try to prep cooked ingredients the evening before or use the grill.
Use air vents when boiling water or showering in the kitchen and bath, use clotheslines instead of your dryer, and keep basement windows closed to reduce humidity. If you want fluffy clothes, send them through a quick air dry tumble.
Get the most out of your AC:
- Check filters monthly and replace them every three months.
- Consider upgrading older AC units. Energy Star central air qualifies for a tax credit and reduces 14% of energy use. Window units can save at least 10%.
- Utilize a smart thermostat or a thermostat timer to schedule warmer periods at night and while you are away from home.
Central AC Units:
- Keep the area around the condenser free of grass and debris for greater efficiency.
- Keep the condenser in the shade - plant a tree or a large shrub.
- Clean the fin coils before the hot season starts; hire our professional team to service the interior coils.
- Schedule professional maintenance with a professional HVAC contractor annually. We'll diagnose your system and fine-tune it for lower operating costs.
For multi-story homes, put box fans in upper levels and open downstairs windows. For single story homes and apartments, place the fans on the opposite side of the house from open windows. This allows your body's cooling system to work better, increasing comfort.
Patio covers, trees, and awnings can all help significantly reduce the heat in your home. Also, consider adding solar screens to opening windows and solar film to fixed windows for added efficiency.
Seal up ductwork - up to 25% of your cooling costs can come from air leaking through the ducts.
Use weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors. Check these periodically, as they age they can become brittle and less efficient. Close the damper on your fireplace when it's not in use.
Long Term Improvements
Paint your house a light color and switch to a metal or white roof. The light colors reflect light, rather than absorb it, lowering the overall radiant heat in your home. A metal roof is permanent and reflects a considerable amount of heat away from your home. The next best option is the light roof, which can save up to 20% on cooling costs.
A well-insulated attic can save you as much as 40% of the cool air from escaping. If your current insulation is R-15 or lower, replace it with the appropriate rating for your area - the average is R-49. While you are in the attic, add a radiant barrier. This can reduce energy use by up to 8%.
Add ceiling fans for another 3-8 degree reduction in 'real feel' temperature in your home. They cost less than a penny to run an hour and are inexpensive and easy to install. Just make sure the blades point down when you run them.
If you need AC repair or maintenance or you are considering upgrading to a more efficient AC model, call Metro Comfort. Our HVAC technicians have 75 years of combined experience and deliver sound advice backed by a solid knowledge of the industry. We know you care about quality and affordability. Homeowner or contractor, we treat our clients like neighbors.