Spring season is now in full swing, and soon summer will be here. In our latest blog, we mentioned higher than average temperatures would engulf us these upcoming months. Consequently, higher energy costs. According to the Department of Energy, Americans spent an average of $2000 on energy costs in 2014. As climate continues to change, so can our energy expenses. But how can we stay cool and still save on these? Here are some ways we can keep our cool as the season heats up:
1. Keep Heat Out- Close blinds and curtains to prevent heat gain through the windows. About 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through the windows. Upgrade your windows; Use window covers, choose insulating window shades, or add new ones, install window awnings. Energy efficient windows can reduce energy costs by up to 25%. Enhance your doors, an energy efficient fiberglass door without a window is five times more insulating than a wooden door, and these energy efficient doors can save up to 15% on energy bills.
2. Keep Cool In- The choice of roofing material has been revealed as having a critical role in determining internal living temperatures. Roofs account for nearly 25% of heat loss for a typical house. Although changing your roof may not be at the top of your home improvement to-do list it is something worth looking into because as we mentioned, waves of heat are only expected to worsen. Choose a lighter color for your roof. Most efficient roofs can reflect more than 65% of solar energy away from your home and improve the insulation under the roof. Consider an alternative to asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are only 30% reflective. Improve the ventilation; your roof should have one square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of ceiling. Consider using metal roofs, metal roofs are incredibly durable and can last up to 100 years. A cool roof can lower the temperature of your roof by up to 50 degrees. Roofing that reflects the sun’s energy and releases it into the surrounding air keeps the upper floors of a home cooler, and less energy is required when cooling a home. Inside your home use ceiling fans when you are in the room to create a wind chill effect; you’ll feel a lot more relaxed, and your energy bill will thank you for it. Whether you’re ready to make the change or want to explore your options, our roofing experts are always prepared to provide your family with our free roof inspection.
3. Maintain Cooling System- Schedule a summer cooling system tune-up, If your central air conditioning unit is older than 12 years, consider replacing it. Change your filter every one to two months during the cooling season. Clear the area around outdoor condenser coils by removing debris and trimming. Ensure there are at least two feet around the condenser for proper airflow. For room or window air conditioners, inspect the seal between the air conditioner and frame to ensure the frame contacts the unit’s metal case. Upgrade your thermostat to a smart or programmable one to increase the temperature when you’re away and return it to a comfortable level before you’re home. This change can save you up to 10% per year on energy bills.
4. Take advantage of Technologically Advanced Appliances – Home appliances including washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc. can account for 20% of your electricity bill. Replacing your machine for an ENERGY STAR appliance can save you up to 10-50% on your bill. Though at first, you may be questioning this decision you’ll later notice the savings on it.
5. Small Steps Can Go a Long Way- More efficient technological advances to better building materials have facilitated a system in which energy efficient homes are more readily available than ever before but let’s also remember that any change begins with us. Other practical improvements that will save you are Weatherizing or sealing air leaks around your home. The most common source of air leaks into your home are vents, windows, and doors, prevent these leaks by ensuring there are no cracks or openings between the wall and vent, window or door frame. Consider switching to CFL or LED bulbs, disconnect any electronics, not in use, use smart power strips and overall, change your habits you more than anyone else has control of how energy is consumed at your home.
An energy-competent home saves money by reducing energy use, offers a higher level of comfort, and increases the resale value of the property, not to mention preserves the environment. The Department of Energy has developed the Home Energy Score providing homeowners, buyers, and renters measurable results about a home’s energy use. Visit https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/home-energy-score to find out how to get yours and begin saving.