Techniques for Decreasing Energy Costs this Summer, while Staying Cool
As the summer months approach and bring record-breaking temperatures, resorting to the AC shouldn’t always be the first line of defense against the scorching heat. Energy prices have been increasing and estimates show that the average homeowner spends about $1000 a year on cooling costs alone.
Luckily, there are a number of ways to save costs and make your home more energy-efficient this summer. The U.S. government subsidizes a state-distributed program called Weatherization Assistance (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/wap.html). Since certain new environmentally-friendly home products may be costly, Weatherization Assistance compensates homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades. Many families receiving weatherization services see their annual energy bills reduced by an average of about $350.
There are number of factors to consider when trying to improve home insulation. Energy-efficient ventilation and cooling/heating systems must be properly managed. Without a tightly sealed home, the air system will essentially be futile and unreasonably costly. This means that it becomes necessary to maintain a home’s floors, walls, and attics to ensure that unnecessary heat transfer is not occurring (such as cool air exiting). This can also be helpful within the winter months because a properly sealed home will also prevent heat loss.
Fans are another common alternative to using air conditioning systems. Like these systems, fans provide an effective source of cool air and circulate that air throughout homes. They can be mounted from almost anywhere in the home and stand-alone models are just as effective. Since these machines are specifically directed toward a certain region, they are not using (and therefore wasting) as much energy as an air conditioning system.
Another method is using eco-friendly window treatments. These new window treatments provide better insulation by decreasing solar heat gain between the air inside your home and the window. Examples of these treatments can be window shades, shutters, solar fabric, and window films, which create a strong insulating barrier or absorb the heat rays. These methods can reduce heating costs by up to 45% as well as block harmful Ultraviolet rays entering the home.
So now you know to think twice before immediately blasting the air conditioner this summer. It’s imperative to check that your home is properly insulated, install more portable or mounted fans, and invest in new window treatments. Over time, these methods will actually save you money and your home will be significantly cooler. Who wouldn’t want that?