Reducing the amount of home cooling you need saves energy, lowers your electric bills and increases the life of your air conditioner. The first approach is to reduce heat gain indoors and the second is to keep your cooling equipment operating efficiently. These tips may help you shave your air conditioning costs this summer:
Lowering heat gain
- Deal with the windows. Unless you have high efficiency windows, sun entering your home will increase the temperature. Landscaping with deciduous trees, shrubs and vines will block the sunshine, but let it enter in the winter, warming your home. Closing window coverings also helps, as does installing reflective window film that rejects heat coming into or leaving your home through the glass.
- Seal your home’s envelope. Look around window and door frames for small cracks and seal with caulk. Inspect the sill plate between the foundation and the first floor. Caulk or expanding foam can stop the leaks. Look in the attic for gaps around the infrastructure protruding through the roof.
- Switch to cooler light bulbs. CFL and LED lights emit almost no heat, compared to incandescent bulbs. They also use less electricity.
Improving equipment efficiency
- Check the air filter for the blower at least once a month. When dirt builds on it, the airflow through the blower slows, which retards home cooling and increases energy consumption. It also contributes to increased wear.
- Clear vegetation away from the outdoor condenser and hose the condenser off occasionally.
- Have your air conditioner professionally maintained annually. HVAC technicians go through your entire system, cleaning and adjusting the parts, bringing the equipment back to the manufacturer’s specifications as much as possible. They’ll test the airflow over the indoor coil and check the refrigerant level. Adjustments to both of these could lower energy consumption by 25 percent or more. If you suspect your ducts may be leaking, ask the technician to test for leakage. Duct leakage contributes to high energy bills and degrades indoor air quality.
To learn more about reducing home cooling costs, contact Arpi’s Industries. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Calgary area since 1963.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home cooling and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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