Homeowners in the Midwest must cope with hot, humid summers that keep air conditioners working hard from June until September. Fortunately, you can ease your cooling load this summer and lower your energy bills with a few basic tips:
Keep outdoor heat where it belongs
Summer heat can infiltrate your home in two ways: direct sunlight hitting the roof and shining through windows, and hot humid air passing through gaps and cracks in your home’s outer envelope. The best ways to counter these problems include:
- Shade your home with trees planted on the south and west sides to lower your cooling load by 15 to 50 percent.
- Provide shade for individual windows with drapes, awnings or other window coverings.
- Plug up air leaks around windows and doors along with anywhere else your home is particularly leaky.
- Seal ductwork passing through unconditioned spaces to lower your cooling load by 10 to 25 percent.
Reduce interior heat gain
It’s impossible to fully eliminate heat gain from inside your home, but a few low-tech suggestions can go a long way in reducing your cooling load. Try to:
- Keep the lights low or off during daylight hours.
- Replace inefficient, heat-producing incandescent bulbs with cooler, more efficient compact fluorescent ones.
- Wait until the cooler evening hours to cook with the oven, run the dishwasher, or dry clothes in the dryer.
- Hang-dry clothing whenever possible.
- Run the kitchen, laundry room and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking, doing laundry and showering so hot, humid air is drawn outside.
- Wrap the water heater.
- Use the sleep setting on your computer and turn off heat-generating electronics when they’re not in use.
Implement these tips for lowering your cooling load today, and enjoy immediate, noticeably lower energy bills for the remainder of the summer. To learn more about achieving greater energy savings in your home, or for more information on other heating and cooling topics, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling for your Metro-East home today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about lowering your enregy bills and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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