20 May 2013 Prep your home for summer
It’s easy to prepare a home for summer and for lower energy bills by simply completing eight easy tips before the temperatures get too hot.
Even following just two or three suggestions can make a home more energy efficient and help reduce energy bills.
Change the air filter
Once changed, set an alert on a phone or computer calendar to remind you to change it out every month during the summer. It may seem like a lot of upkeep, but it will help extend the life of your HVAC system. Stock up on air filters at the beginning of the summer and store them for easy access. This way you won’t forget to change it for another month and you’ll save a trip to the store.
Test the system
If you haven’t already, turn the AC on and turn down the temperature to force the system to turn on. When you hear the system starting to blow air, be sure to place your hand in front of a vent to make sure the air coming through is considerably cool. If any problems arise such as the system not turning on or warm air coming through the vents, be sure to call an air conditioning repair company to remedy the system right away. The earlier in the season you can get the repair done, the less likely you will have to pay more during a peak-of-the-season emergency.
Check the ducts
You may have a faulty duct system if you experience uneven cooling or sky high energy bills. Many air conditioning contractors can perform a duct test to find where faulty areas are. If you’re more of the do-it-yourself type, check out Conway Corporation Energy Smart’s guide to “Sealing Leaks and Sealing Ducts” at conwaycorp.com.
Maintain the outdoor unit
A simple task you can complete on your outdoor unit is to clear any debris immediately around it. Anything that would affect the unit from pulling air into it should be removed. To complete a thorough cleaning and checkup on your unit, call an air conditioning professional.
Install a programmable thermostat
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, installing one is simple and can save you loads on your energy bill. The benefit to having a programmable thermostat is being able to schedule it to an energy-saving temperature while you aren’t home. For example, when the family leaves for work or school, you can program your thermostat to 78 or 80 degrees. This temperature may be a little warm when everyone is home, but is a great temperature to keep an empty home.
Install attic insulation and an attic fan
Another great energy saver is attic insulation. Attic insulation keeps the hot air in your attic and not in the living spaces of your home. Install an attic fan for an inexpensive way to keep your attic even cooler and therefore keep your home cooler.
Seal any air leaks to the outside
Close any air leaks by windows or doors with caulk or a weather-stripping material. The more airtight your home is, the less your air conditioner needs to work.
Add a UV film to your windows
UV film is a thin plastic that sticks to your windows and can block almost all UV rays as well as a high percentage of solar heat. Not only does this film keep your home cooler when the sun is blazing, but it also protects your furniture, carpets and wood flooring from UV damage.
For more energy efficiency tips, visit conwaycorp.com and click on the Energy Smart quick link.