While most people look forward to the onset of summer for the simple fact that it is conducive to performing outdoor activities, getting fresh air and sunshine, and enjoying the natural environment, homeowners also dread this time of year because it either means suffering in a sweltering home interior all season long or shelling out major money for artificial cooling. And yet, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an either/or scenario. You could engineer a cool home interior throughout the long, hot days of summer without giving up your firstborn child for the luxury. With a few effective strategies under your belt you can easily reduce your summer cooling costs. Here are some tactics that every homeowner may want to employ.
- Hire a home energy auditor. This, in and of itself, will not reduce your cooling costs. But the inspection and testing performed by a home energy auditor can tell you where leaks and other forms of energy waste are occurring in your home. This information will give you a good place to start when it comes to addressing problem areas and making your home more airtight and energy efficient.
- Seal leaks. Once you’ve had a home energy audit you can begin treating the problems in your structure that have caused your cooling costs to skyrocket. You’ll probably want to start by adding weather stripping around windows and doors to close any gaps where the air you pay for is escaping into the outside. From there you can address other leaks with sealant, spray foam, caulk, and a variety of other products. But you might also want to consider enhancing or upgrading your insulation. Over time it can deteriorate, compromising the barrier between the inside and outside environment.
- Install energy film. One of the biggest problem areas when it comes to heat getting into your house is the windows. And unless you want to keep your curtains closed throughout the summer to stop the ingress of sunlight, you might be looking for alternatives. Awnings are one possibility, but they’re bound to be expensive. And while you can plant shade-producing trees on the cheap, they’ll take a while to reach full height. In the meantime, consider the economical and effective solution offered by energy film. This cling film can easily be stuck and re-stuck to windows throughout your home and it could block up to 90% of the sun’s heat-producing rays, reducing your demand for interior cooling. Even better, it won’t block the view.
- Service your AC unit. It is absolutely imperative that you hire a qualified technician to perform an annual inspection, cleaning, and repairs on your AC unit if you want it to function at peak throughout the summer. As a bonus, regular servicing ensures that blockages and other issues won’t leave you paying more than you should to keep your home interior cool.
- Upgrade your HVAC. If your system seems to be failing and your utility bills are through the roof, it may be time to consider some upgrades to your HVAC system. This could include scrapping your current duct system and planning good ductwork design that is more conducive to energy efficiency. Or you might upgrade to a more energy-efficient AC unit. Either way, you’ll pay some money up-front, but the savings over time should help you to recoup the cost.