CHILL OUT – TIPS TO LESSEN THE LOAD ON YOUR HVAC SYSTEM, SAVE MONEY, AND STAY COOL AND COMFORTABLE.
Summers can be brutally hot in Georgia and brutal on your wallet as well. Did you know that Americans spend more than $15 billion each year on air conditioning?
You can cut your home energy bill by 10% to 50% by taking a whole-house approach. Consider upgrading to a new energy-efficient model as a great first step. Make sure the rest of the house is working WITH your HVAC system and not against it.
Below are the common places in your home where air leaks occur and what you can do to eliminate your cool (or warm) air from escaping. With air escaping, the system is working harder to maintain the set temperature. An HVAC system that’s working overtime is likely to wear out sooner and uses more energy, leading to higher utility bills.
LOOK AROUND YOUR HOME FOR THESE ISSUES:
1. DUCTWORK – Make sure your ductwork is in good condition. If you see gaps or tears or can feel air leaking out at seams and joints, apply a mastic sealant or tape. If you can’t easily inspect or seal your ductwork, call an HVAC professional.
2. DOORS AND WINDOWS – Inspect around door and window frames (inside and outside) for crumbled caulking or gaps. If you can see daylight or feel air, you’re literally throwing money out the window. Be sure to check the threshold under each door, too. Seal leaks with caulk or weather stripping and adjust door thresholds to keep the cool (or warm) air in.
3. ATTIC INSULATION – Attic insulation is critical to helping maintain the desired temperature in your home. It creates a barrier to keep hot air out in the summer, and cold air out in the winter. It’s easy to visually inspect your attic insulation by looking across the attic floor. If you can see the joists, you need more insulation. The Department of Energy and EnergyStar.gov recommend at least 12 inches of insulation for our geographic region.
4. ATTIC ACCESS DOOR – You’ve made sure the attic has enough insulation, so be sure the access door is sealed tight, too with weather stripping or an attic door tent.
5. RECESSED LIGHTING – Recessed, or “can”, lights are popular and look great, but they can also have a big impact on the energy efficiency of your home. They may extend into your attic and must be insulated properly to prevent air loss. It’s very important to know whether your fixtures are rated “IC” for insulation contact. With IC rated fixtures you can insulate directly over the can and plug holes and gaps. If your fixtures are NOT rated IC, you must keep insulation 3 inches away from the can. Use a wire mesh to create a 3-inch barrier around the can then insulate around the barrier.
6. PLUMBING PIPES – Anywhere a pipe or conduit penetrates the exterior of your home is a potential source of air leakage. Inspect the areas where pipes come into the house (basement, garage, attic) and under sinks. Seal gaps to prevent air leaks.
And here’s a few more ways you can keep cool and lessen the load on your air conditioner:
- Close window blinds to keep the sun out.
- Turn lights off when not in use. Especially if using incandescent bulbs.
- Turn off or unplug electronics when not in use.
- Cook dinner on the grill instead of using the stove or oven.
- Opt for cool, crisp cotton bed sheets.
- Set ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
- Use bathroom exhaust fans to pull warm humid air out.
An HVAC professional can help you determine the most cost-effective ways to prolong the life of your HVAC system, save money on utilities, and stay comfortable in your home.
Water Saving Landscaping Tips: Water lawns and landscaping early in the day so the heat doesn’t evaporate the water before it can do its job. Apply at least 2-inches of mulch in beds to slow water evaporation. Mow at the proper height to reduce your lawn’s water needs.
Author: Jerry Hall
Company: Assured Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing
About Assured Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing:
Assured Comfort Heating, Air, Plumbing is a leading heating, air conditioning and plumbing company with locations in Fulton County, Cobb County and Douglas County that services the metro Atlanta and surrounding cities.
Family-owned since 2002, Assured Comfort is committed to providing not only the best in HVAC and plumbing services, but also supporting the local community. Our team abides by the following principles:
Helping people to live in greater safety and comfort.
Giving back to the community.
Delivering WOW service.
Being a great place to work.
We are members of the Cobb County, Douglas County and Paulding County Chambers of Commerce.
Jerry Hall, owner of Assured Comfort, is a member of both the Douglas County and Cobb County Chamber Chairman’s Clubs.
Jerry also serves on the board of the Douglas County Public Education Trust. Every year, Assured Comfort sponsors the Fox Hall Family Festival in Douglas County, which is the largest fundraiser for Douglas County schools.