With the cooling season almost over, you’ve probably had a few surprises on your electric bills, making you look forward to cooler days ahead. In the meantime, however, there are many simple and affordable ways of lowering your cooling load and reducing your energy costs.
The sun in our area is hot, but shade screens are effective at lowering your cooling load. Depending on the cloth you use, you can block as much as 90 percent of the heat from the sun. Reflective window film also cuts heat transfer. A permanent and year-round solution is upgrading windows to thermal or Energy Star-qualified models. If those aren’t in your budget, keeping your blinds and drapes closed when the sun hits the windows will reduce heat gain in the summer.
The combination of heat and humidity increases the cooling load, especially when they seep into your home from the outdoors. Find the air leaks by:
- Drawing a simple floorplan of your home
- Shutting off gas appliances
- Closing exterior doors and windows
- Going through your home with a lighted stick of incense
- Writing down places where the smoke moves around more than normally
Good places to look include window frames, exterior door frames and places where pipes, cables or wires come into your home. Use exterior caulk and expanding foam to fill the cracks and fresh weatherstripping around the door frames.
Increase your home’s attic insulation for an cost-effective approach to lowering your cooling load. The Department of Energy recommends at least 12 inches of insulation in the attic. You can add batt or blown-in insulation yourself or hire a contractor to supply the product and do the job for you.
For more information on lowering your cooling load, contact AirRite Air Conditioning Company. We’ve provided HVAC services in Fort Worth and Arlington since 1955.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about lowering your cooling load and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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