Save Energy & Money: Reduce The Use!
Before considering upgrading your cooling equipment, the least expensive way to save energy and money – reduce the use! Reducing your need for air conditioning can be done in several ways:
- Insulate and tighten your home– improve insulation and air sealing to prevent heat from entering your house. Your highest priority should be to check insulation levels and air leaks between your living space and the attic.
- Get rid of inefficient appliances– inefficient appliances give off a lot of heat. Especially consider replacing or discarding old or auxiliary refrigerators; replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescents or LEDs; and unplug electronics when not in use.
- Consider “cool” exterior finishes– when replacing your roof or painting your house, using light colored or other “cool” roofing and siding products can reduce your peak cooling demand by 10 to 15 percent. There are a number of roofing products that can dramatically cut down on heat gain without blinding your neighbors.
- Shade or improve windows– to keep high-angle summer sun out, consider horizontal trellises for your east and west windows. Protect south-facing windows with deciduous trees or climbing foliage so you can take advantage of low-angle sun in the winter when the leaves fall. New windows on those walls that get the most summer sun should have low “e” glazing to block unwanted heat.
- Cool with air movement and ventilation– fan operation uses less energy than air conditioning and can be adequate for attaining desired comfort levels.
- Ceiling fanscool by creating a low-level “wind-chill” effect throughout the room. As long as indoor humidity isn’t stifling, they can be quite effective. Just remember that fans cool “people” not “rooms”. It doesn’t actually lower the temperature in the room so be sure to turn them off when you leave the room.
- House fansinstalled in your top floor ceiling are very effective in cooling your whole house. The fans suck air through the house, inducing a strong draft in rooms where windows are open as it pulls cooler air from outside. Unfortunately, this is only helpful when the outdoor temperature is comfortable.
So if you want to save energy and money – reduce the use!