After a winter spent watching your furnace drive your energy costs through the roof, spring is a nice respite, full of mild temperatures and plans for the coming summer. Unfortunately, summer also means a return to towering energy costs as you struggle to keep from melting during the hottest parts of the day. Preparing early will give you a chance to put measures in place which will not only keep you cool, but keep your energy costs down in the process.
If your home relies on a central air conditioning system, anything you can do to keep the interior from heating up will save you money. That means starting by keeping the sun from blazing in through as many windows as possible. Focus on south facing windows, as even in the summer, the sun's path is primarily through the southern sky.
While even some simple curtains will have an impact, heavier shades will do more to prevent ambient heat from reaching the inside of your home. You can also make use of tinted window film, or awnings over sliding glass doors for added protection. In all, you can expect to block about 30% of the unwanted heat coming into your house, and save up to $45 annually, just by covering your windows.
The Heart of Your Cooling Efforts
It would be nice to keep your home cool without having to switch on your air conditioner at all, but that's not likely if you live south of Alaska. Since most people don't, consider saving on the operating cost instead by replacing your old AC unit with a newer one. Look for units with a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of 13 or better, which will help ensure that you're getting the most bang for your buck, and have a full inspection of your ventilation system scheduled at the same time.
If a completely new AC unit is out of your price range, consider localizing your cooling efforts to just the rooms you'll be in. Zone controls for an existing HVAC system are one option, but so are window-mounted AC units, which can be switched on or off as you enter and leave rooms, increasing the efficiency of your cooling and saving money in the process. You can also make use of ceiling fans to help circulate cool air more effectively through a room.
Make sure that any efforts you make to improve your home's cooling are in place long before the hottest part of the summer arrives. Properly executed, you can expect these investments to pay for themselves in just a few years. For more information, contact Advanced Heating & Cooling or a similar company.