The cost of cooling your home this summer may be more than it should be. Most of us do not live in brand new homes designed with energy efficiency in mind. Even if your home is only 10 years old (or younger in some cases) there could still be more you could do to stop money spent on cooling it from flying out your door.
But where do you begin? Unless you are an expert, it may be hard to tell exactly what your particular home might need to conserve energy and cut your cooling costs. Having an energy audit done on your home by a professional is a wise step but, there are a few simple techniques you can do to cut your cooling costs now and for years to come. Every effort you make today will produce savings for you that are ongoing, so it is well worth your personal time and energy.
Keep the Heat Outside, Control the Inside
When it comes to cooling your home, the easiest way to save energy this summer is to keep the heat outside and control the inside temperature yourself. Sounds simple, and obvious, but there are ways the heat is coming in that you may not have thought about and better ways to control how much you cool your home each day.
- Put in a Programmable Thermostat: This simple step can keep you in control of your cooling costs by letting you preset what temperature you want it to be in the house and when. It allows you turn down energy usage when you are not at home and when you are not using certain areas of the home during the day. According to bobvila.com, set it to stay comfortable, but not extremely cool, because every degree saved on that thermostat will improve energy savings by up to 6 percent.
Programmable thermostats save you money year-round
and put you in control of your energy use.
- Keep the AC Clean: Clean out the air filters on your air conditioning unit at least once per month and get it an annual checkup/cleaning like you do your furnace. According to lifehacker.com, you can save a lot in cooling costs simply by having clean, well-functioning equipment.
- Cover up Sun-exposed Windows: You can uses blinds or shades to keep out the sun’s hot rays during the summer (and use them to your advantage in the winter). If you have ever sat by one of your windows with the sun streaming in, you know it puts quite a bit of warmth into your home, so blocking it out, at least partially during the hottest part of the day, will save you in cooling costs.
- Replace Your Windows: Older windows are a big source of energy loss. It may be wise to replace them with ones that are double or even triple paned for insulation. They also are available with a special coating that reflects heat back outside in the summer.
Keep the Inside Cool
Once you’ve got the temperature cooler inside, you want to keep that comfortable air where you need it.
- Improve Your Insulation:Though your house probably has some insulation, it might just be the basic stuff that came with the house. You can save a lot of energy by ensuring that your attic, walls, and floors are filled with the recommended amount of fiberglass or spray foam insulation. This will keep your inside air in and the outside temperatures where they belong.
- Make More Shade: So once you block out the sun’s hot rays from your windows, think about what it is doing to your house overall. If you lack shade falling upon your home during some part of the day, you are basically cooking in the summer sun. Consider planting a few shade trees, strategically located where they will offer you shade and the comfort it naturally provides.
- Energy Audits: Nothing beats getting an expert to look at your home and determine where there are energy leaks and challenges hiding from the untrained eye. According to energystar.gov, an energy audit provides you with detailed information about your home’s energy usage, where you might be losing money to energy costs, and what you can do to improve efficiency and save money.
To learn more about saving on your home’s cooling costs and conserving your family’s use of valuable energy, call 1-800-975-6666. We can provide a Mass Save No Cost Home Energy Assessment.