With gorgeous beaches, plenty of outdoor activities, and glistening pools, nothing beats summertime in the Sunshine State. However, when it comes time to beat the heat, most people blast their AC, hoping to keep things cool. But, if you want to stay energy-efficient to save both money and the planet, just turning your thermostat low and leaving it can be a problem. To help you stay cool while reducing your energy consumption, LIBERTYAIR Air Conditioning & Heating is reviewing four different ways you can ensure your home is energy-efficient without breaking the bank.
Windows account for a lot of lost energy both in the summer and winter. While replacing windows and sliding glass doors with thicker, energy-efficient windows is best, it's also the most expensive. But, you don't have to drop a ton of money to insulate windows. To begin with, make sure that the windows and doors have proper weather stripping along the sides so that hot air isn't seeping in while cold air is leaking out. You should also invest in some window coverings that will help block out both the sun and heat. This can be either drapes or blinds, though the heavier the material, the better it will work.
Fans act like the wind, hitting our skin and evaporating sweat, helping us to feel cooler. While ceiling fans work best at circulating air, floor fans are also a great option. Just make sure to be strategic about the placement of a floor fan. Also, whether it's a floor or ceiling fan, make sure to turn it off once you leave a room. That's because fans don't actually do anything to cool down a space, so running it while there's no one around is just wasting energy. Also, if you're operating a ceiling fan, ensure that the blades are spinning counterclockwise, which will push the air down. You can usually change a ceiling fan's direction with a little black switch located on the side of the base, just below the blades.
Reduce Indoor Heat Sources
While most heat during the summer is radiating in from the outside, appliances and light fixtures can be creating additional indoor heat. Switch to cooler, energy-efficient bulbs, such as LEDs or CFLs, to save you some money. You can also utilize indirect sunlight for daytime lighting without sacrificing cooling efficiency. Using high-efficiency appliances, such as dishwashers, stoves, and countertop ovens can also help keep things cool. However, upgrading appliances can get expensive. If you can't afford upgrades, just focus on using what you have more efficiently. For example, only run a full load of laundry or a full load of dishes.
Ensure Your AC System Is Working Right
The heart of cooling in most homes, the AC system, is often overlooked. Beyond maintenance, it's important to have an AC unit that is sized correctly. Whether it's too big or too small, it will be using up more energy than necessary to cool your home. An HVAC technician will be able to tell you if the AC unit you have is the correct size and running properly. Homeowners are often surprised by how fast savings can repay for a new AC installation. However, if you can't afford a new unit right away or don't have ducts to support it, installing a ductless AC is often a better solution for the money and doesn't require extensive work to install it.