It’s normal for electricity costs to skyrocket in the summer as you pay to air condition your home. However, before you assume you’re stuck paying appalling cooling bills all summer long, consider these five ways you can reduce the need for air conditioning in your Oregon home.
- Run a ceiling fan: It seems simple, but creating air circulation with a ceiling fan makes you feel 4 degrees cooler. That way, you can save energy by setting the thermostat to 78 degrees while enjoying what feels like a 74 degree room. Just remember to turn off the fan when the room is vacant since the wind chill effect cools people, not the air.
- Increase insulation and home tightness: Since your home is built from a variety of construction materials, gaps and cracks in the outer envelope are normal. However, if you can seal these gaps and tighten up your home, you reduce the amount of hot air that gets in from outside. Then, by adding insulation to the attic floor, you help prevent hot attic air from finding its way into your home. Both of these efforts reduce the need for air conditioning.
- Seek cooler exterior finishes: If a siding or roofing upgrade is in order, choose light-colored materials, which reflect more light than they absorb. Cooler exterior finishes can reduce your peak cooling load by 10 to 15 percent.
- Shade or upgrade the windows: Awnings, trellises, strategically planted trees, reflective blinds and light-blocking curtains are all effective ways to keep the high-angle summer sun from shining directly into your home. Upgrading to high-efficiency windows with a low-E coating and other advanced features also helps reduce the need for air conditioning.
- Replace old appliances: Aging refrigerators are the biggest culprits of inefficient operation and excess heat generation. Incandescent bulbs are also notorious for wasting a lot of energy in heat output. Replace these and other inefficient appliances to reduce interior heat gain and lessen the strain on your air conditioner.
For more on how to reduce the need for air conditioning, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, the top HVAC service company in Portland.