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5 Ways to Cut Cooling Costs This Summer


June 20, 2018


Most
people love to stay cool and dry in the summer. However, nobody likes
the huge power bills that result from achieving such luxurious
comfort. Fortunately, there are several ways to beat the heat without
breaking your budget. Here are five tips to maintain your chill and
your resources.

1.
Fortify Your Castle

Winter
and spring wreak havoc on homes. Damage from snow, ice, freeze-thaw
cycles, and rodent intrusion can leave cracks and crevices all over
the exterior of your structure. Any gaps in your structure allow cold
air to leak from your home like water from a sieve.

Check
your home and repair the leaks, or ask professionals to point out
problems if you’re unsure. Your HVAC professionals can perform a
simple energy audit of your home to see where there are challenges to
your air conditioning system’s performance.

Check
for openings:

  • At the foundation
  • Around the frames and panes of windows
  • Under and over the doors
  • Around the door frames
  • At the vent and chimney joints
  • Around the edge of the roof line


Block
cool air from escaping your home by fortifying the thermal envelope
of the structure. Seal or caulk framing, foundation, and roofline
cracks. Add insulation to attic rafters and exterior walls if they
have inadequate thermal protection. Use heat-blocking window
treatments on south- and west-facing windows to reduce solar heat
gain through the glass.

2.
Move Your Thermostat

If
your thermostat is located in the wrong place, your air conditioning
system will cycle more often than necessary. Any sunlight that lands
on your thermostat increases the heat reading. The heat triggers the
air conditioning system to start running even when the house is cool
enough.

Other
factors can make the thermostat send the wrong message to your
cooling system. If the thermostat is located near an oven, lamp,
computer equipment, or a flat-screen television, it will be affected
by the heat from the appliances and devices. Your air conditioning
system will work to keep up with the demands of the heat of the
appliance while over-cooling the rest of your home.

Have
your HVAC professionals move your thermostat to a better location if
sunlight or other heat sources are sending your air conditioning into
overdrive. The best place for your thermostat is on an interior wall
in a room that is used regularly by members of the household.

3.
Go Higher for Savings

It’s
convenient and satisfying to crank the thermostat down to 65 degrees
Fahrenheit on a hot day. However, you have to consider the long-term
results of blasting your air conditioner at a very low temperature.
Higher electric bills and a shorter HVAC lifespan are the outcomes of
running your air conditioning on settings that are too low.

Resist
the temptation to lower the thermostat. Set it at 78 degrees
Fahrenheit when you’re home. Use fans to circulate cool air in warm
spaces. Attic fans and fans on upper levels pull cool air up into
second story bedrooms. Ceiling fans on lower levels help circulate
cool air for increased comfort at higher thermostat settings.

4.
Rethink the Empty-Home Cooling

It’s
a myth that you should leave your thermostat at the normal setting
when you leave home. It doesn’t take more energy for your system to
get back up to speed after being turned down than it does to run
continuously while you’re away. You waste energy when you cool your
home with nobody there to enjoy the expense.

Turn
your thermostat down a few degrees when you leave for long periods.
Better still, have a programmable thermostat installed. You’ll enjoy
both the cost savings and the convenience of a thermostat that
remembers to turn down the costly cooling for you.

5.
Invest in Modern Cooling Technology

If
your HVAC system is nearing the end of its useful life, you’re
actually in luck. Although a new system is an investment, you can
save up to 50% on heating and cooling costs by installing an
up-to-date furnace and air conditioning system.

When
choosing a new system, look for appliances with:

  • Energy Star certification
  • Energy efficiency rating (EER) greater than 11.6
  • Variable-speed air handling
  • Quiet operation


Size
is the key to an energy-efficient HVAC system. A too-large or
too-small air conditioning system will be expensive in the long run,
since both will run more often than necessary. Your HVAC
professionals will calculate the size of your indoor spaces to
determine the correct size central or mini-split system for your
home.

Depending
on the location, layout, and cooling demands of your home, you may be
best served with a split system that delivers custom air conditioning
to several rooms at the same time. Each room has an air handler with
an individual thermostat with this type of air conditioning system.

A
heat pump is another option to lower energy costs. The heat pump
pulls in hot air and cools it. When the heat pump can’t keep up with
high outdoor temperatures, the conventional air conditioning takes
over. This combination HVAC strategy can be cost effective in some
locations.

Contact
Comfort Solutions to install a brand new, high-efficiency air
conditioning system


in
your home. We provide expert, professional HVAC upgrades and
replacements to keep homes cool and fresh.