Working Toward Lighter Energy Bills? Lower Your Cooling Load
Posted on August 7, 2012
As summer in the Wichita area gets hotter, your cooling system has to work harder, which means your energy bills will rise along with the temperature. To get lower energy bills, lower your cooling load by taking some of the following steps:
- Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re home. When you’re away from home, set the thermostat to 83 degrees . Run ceiling and room fans to make your home feel cooler. For greatest efficiency, use a programmable thermostat to make temperature shifts automatically.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room and turn off heat-generating devices such as televisions and stereos when not in use.
- Avoid using your oven or clothes dryer during hot days. Wait until the temperature cools off.
- Keep solar heat out of your house. On sunny, hot days, close curtains on windows that face the sun. Consider using fabric sun screens or other window treatments.
- Plant trees to create shade to keep solar heat out; ideal spots to plant are on the west and southwest sides of your home. Deciduous trees will keep the sun out during the summer but let it in during the winter when the leaves are off the trees.
- Consider installation of an attic ventilation system to let trapped heat escape outside for significant relief on your home’s cooling load. Several types of ventilation equipment are available.
- Inspect your windows and doors for air leaks. Seal any leaks you find with caulk and weatherstripping. If you’re in the market for new windows, you can enjoy significant savings with energy-efficient windows. Look for models with an Energy Star rating.
- Check your ducts for leaks, too, looking closely at connections at floors, walls and ceilings. Watch for damaged and disconnected ducts. Leaks should be sealed with mastic-type sealant and metal tape. Many homeowners have a certified HVAC contractor do professional duct sealing.
Annual HVAC maintenance can give you more energy efficiency, often paying for itself in energy savings and fewer repair bills.
For more tips on easing your cooling load and other home comfort issues, please contact us at Comfort Systems. Our history of service to the Wichita area goes back to the 1920s.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about lowering your energy bills and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.