There is no doubt that summertime temperatures are here in South Florida. The extreme temperatures likely have your home’s air conditioning system working overtime to maintain a cool climate. Needless to say, you can expect some fairly high electric bills during these months as you try to keep your house cool. Below we will share a few tips that you can implement to help keep these costs down while keeping you cool and comfortable at home.
Energy-efficient cooling tips for the home
- Properly maintain your HVAC system: It is critically important that preventative maintenance is performed on your HVAC system to ensure that it operates optimally and efficiently. Replacing your air filters monthly and clearing your condensation drain line are simple steps that will go a long ways in keeping your HVAC system running smoothly. (It is important to note that when replacing your air filters monthly, you will only need to purchase the basic air filters. No need to spend more money on thicker filters that may constrict your air handler.) If easier, many HVAC companies have preventative maintenance service plans that will handle these tasks for you.
- Insulate your attic appropriately: Attic insulation is an item that is easily overlooked by many homeowners. After all, some home owners never even step foot in their attic. Proper insulation for the home is critical in order to keep it cool during the summer months. Ideally, open or closed-foam insulation applied to the ceiling of the attic is the best option. Of course, standard blown-in insulation is another option but results in a more messy and less usable attic.
- Keep sunlight out: During various times of the day, direct sunlight can make a significant difference on a home’s climate. For example, windows that face east in the morning or west in the afternoon/evening can be considerably warmer due to this direct sunlight. A best practice is to invest in thermal curtains or shades and blackout curtains. Another option is use insulated window film or tint to help keep heat from entering the house.
- Invest in high-impact, low emissivity (Low-E) windows: High-impact windows don’t only protect your home from flying debris during storms, but they also help insulate the home. In particular, if investing in these windows, be sure that they are “Low-E”. This means that they are low emissivity and will help keep out the heat from direct sunlight.
- Seal the home: The average home has lots of small cracks and leaks around windows, door frames, skylights and other locations that let hot outdoor air in. Your utility company can perform a home energy audit to find leaks and give you advice on how to fix them to keep your house more energy efficient. Furthermore, doing this may also make you eligible for a discount on your electricity bills.
- Invest in a programmable or smart thermostat: Although this may go without saying, programmable thermostats are a must in today’s homes. These units will allow you to schedule your home to be cooler during times of the day when you are home while also resulting in savings on cooling expenses while you are not home. Today’s smart units enable you to control your thermostat via WI-FI as well.
- A light-colored metal roof is best: In the event that you are re-roofing your home, you may want to consider a light-colored metal roof. In addition to offering benefits such as storm protection and less weight on your existing roof trusses, a light-colored metal roof can also deflect the sun’s harmful rays. For example, a white metal roof combined with closed-foam insulation in the attic can make a considerable difference in your home’s cooling.
It can be extremely difficult to keep your home cool during the peak of summer, but adhering to these best practices will ensure that your HVAC system is running optimally and efficiently. In the event that you have multiple pets that may shed lots of hair and dander, it is even more important that you stay on top of your air filter changes to ensure that your HVAC system continues running smoothly. A few simple steps can not only result in your HVAC system running optimally, but they can also save you money in energy costs down the road.
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