Large cooling bills are a fact of life in the Clearwater area, but there are many ways you can make sure that the money you do spend goes further. By using the following tips, you can reduce the need for air conditioning during milder outdoor temperatures, cutting overall energy usage and monthly utility bills significantly.
- Seal and insulate the home: Many homes, especially older ones, tend to have less than optimal amounts of insulation and they’re often poorly sealed as well. By sealing air leaks around windows, doors, plumbing and electrical lines and adding the recommended amounts of insulation, heat gain during the summer will be significantly reduced. For Clearwater homes, the recommended insulation levels are R-30 to R-60 for the attic, R-13 to R-19 for the floors and R-13 to R-19 for the walls.
- Circulate the air: Use ceiling fans and portable fans to keep the air moving in your home, which will make it feel much cooler at the same temperature. Use exhaust fans when you’re using the stove or taking a shower, and make sure your clothes dryer vent is connected properly to avoid creating excess humidity. Consider installing a whole-home ventilation system to further reduce the need for air conditioning and make sure that your roof is also properly ventilated to remove excess heat from the attic.
- Turn off appliances: Older, inefficient appliances produce heat while they’re running. Shut off any appliances that you’re not using, as well as any unnecessary lights and electronics. Use heat-generating appliances only when it’s cooler outdoors, like in the morning or after sunset.
- Shade the windows: Close curtains, blinds or shades on any windows that face the south and west to prevent solar heat gain during the day.
- Choose cool exteriors: Use light colors or reflective materials for outdoor paints, siding and doors to reflect the heat of the sun.
For other ways to reduce the need for air conditioning, talk to our cooling experts at Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., Inc.
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