It requires quite an investment to stay cool all summer long in Baldwin County, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the need for air conditioning, and as a result, give your household budget a break. You can do this by lowering your home’s daily cooling load. This term refers to the amount of cooling your home needs based on its overall energy efficiency and the amount of heat you generate indoors daily.
Proven Ways to Lower Your Costs
- Seal air leaks in your home’s envelope. Look for cracks around window frames and seal with exterior caulk. If you can see daylight coming through an exterior door, apply fresh weatherstripping. Not only will it stop air infiltration, it will keep bugs from entering your home seeking a cool refuge.
- Add more insulation to the attic. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that attics should have between 10 and 20 inches for the best energy savings. Insulation is the least expensive way to lower cooling costs, and it will last a long time if kept dry. Reflective insulation works well in our warm Southern climate, reflecting much of the heat back through your roof.
- Shade the windows. Since the cooling season is so long here, consider investing in solar shade screens that you can place on exterior windows. They can block up to 90 percent of the heat-producing UV rays entering through the glass. Placed on the south and west windows, these shades offer a view outdoors and provide privacy inside during the day. Solar reflective film also works in our climate and, like thermal drapes can stop heat transfer in both summer and winter.
- Ceiling fans are an effective way to reduce the need for air conditioning and decorate a room, as well. They circulate the air, ceasing a wind-chill effect that makes it seem cooler. The cooling effect allows you to turn up the thermostat a few degrees.
- Use appliances wisely in the summer. Avoid using your stove, oven and clothes dryer during the hottest parts of the day. When you need to replace them, look for those that carry the Energy Star label.
Keeping your cooling system running efficiently also will reduce the need for air conditioning because a tuned-up system doesn’t have to run as long to reach your set temperature. To learn more, please contact us at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc., providing exceptional HVAC services to Baldwin County and Mobile homeowners since 1964.