It may seem difficult to keep cool during a sweltering Texas summer without racking up expensive electricity bills. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to reduce the need for home air conditioning and save money all summer long.
- Tighten and insulate your home: The first step is to reduce the amount of air infiltration into your home. Seal gaps and cracks in your home’s outer envelope, including around windows, doors and attic floor penetrations. Caulk, weatherstripping and expanding spray foam are your best resources for tightening your home. After sealing openings in the attic floor, add insulation there to reduce heat transfer through the ceiling.
- Shade the windows: Solar heat gain is another huge concern in the summer. Low-E coatings and other features make new windows more efficient, but you can further reduce the need for home air conditioning by shading the windows. Exterior solutions (tall trees and awnings) and interior fixtures (reflective blinds and curtains) both work well.
- Choose "cooler" exterior finishes: Darker colors absorb more sunlight and allow your home to heat up. Choose light roofing and siding materials to reduce your peak cooling demand by 10 to 15 percent.
- Replace inefficient appliances: Interior heat gain is a concern as well. Your air conditioner must counter any heat generated within the walls of your home. Consider updating old refrigerators that consume high amounts of electricity and generate a lot of heat. Replace old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights to reduce heat generation from lighting by 90 percent.
- Create airflow: Ceiling fans use a fraction of the electricity consumed by air conditioners – and Energy Star-rated ceiling fans consume even less – yet running one makes the room feel three or four degrees cooler. As long as the indoor humidity level isn’t stifling, this is quite an effective technique. Just remember, fans cool people, not rooms, so turn off the ceiling fan when you leave a room to conserve energy.
These are just a few ways to reduce the need for home air conditioning. For more tips, please contact us at McWilliams & Son Heating and Air Conditioning, proudly serving Lufkin and Nacogdoches area residents since 1974.
Image Provided by Shutterstock.com