Tips to Save Energy While Cooling Your Home
August 11, 2017
Check out our top five tips for saving energy while keeping your home cool this summer!
1. Put Your Fans to Work
Ceiling fans are a low-cost way to keep cool air in circulation, which means your body temperature is lower and home efficiency is higher. The key in the summer is to set them in a counterclockwise motion at higher speeds. If you don’t have ceiling fans, upright or box fans can also be useful for air circulation.
PRO TIP: Some homeowners will use a box fan to bring the cool basement air up by setting it at the bottom of the stairs and pointing it up at a 45-degree angle. No basement? Place a bowl of ice in front of your fan (if you aren’t worried about it causing problems for small children or pets) and let the cool breeze radiate.
2. Close Your Curtains, Shades & Blinds
When the sun is especially strong during those early afternoon hours, heat can penetrate through your windows. Lose the greenhouse effect by using window treatments, especially on your south- and west-facing windows.
The most budget friendly way to save energy is to close out the heat with whatever window treatments you have on-hand, but if your windows are bare or due for an update, we have a few tips on what to buy.
- Purchase medium colored curtains with white plastic backing to reflect the light and heat
- Blackout curtains work as natural insulators
- Choose closed weave curtain fabrics; quilted and Roman shades act as both a barrier and insulation
- Use Velcro or tape creatively to lock out any cracks or openings
- Buy reversible shades that are white on one side and dark on the other (reverse to dark in the winter to absorb the heat)
- Install window treatments as close to the glass as possible (reflective film is also an option)
Consumer Reports and the DOE (Department of Energy) cite heat reduction as great as 77% using these simple methods!
PRO TIP: Utilize some of these methods (or the reverse) for retaining heat in the winter.
3. Use Insulated Panels
Those less concerned with aesthetics might consider foam board insulation for the interior of their home’s windows. Insulated panels are very easy to install, requiring no tools due to the seal that is created with the window frame. They can also be used in conjunction with window treatments for maximum energy savings. Keep in mind, you’ll need a place to store them when not in use!
PRO TIP: Use magnetic tape or Velcro to further enforce your seal.
4. Install Awnings
As an exterior solution, awnings instill the same protection from the heat as previous suggestions do, but from a greater distance. Skip the window treatments in a modern home, or combine them with awnings as a powerful duo! According to the Department of Energy(DOE), “Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows.” They also advise that materials have changed, so know what kind of maintenance your chosen fabric requires. You want window awnings to be light in color to reflect light, same as your window treatments.
PRO TIP: Purchase adjustable or retractable awnings so that in the winter, they do not block your home from absorbing the heat and, therefore, you’re saving on heating costs.
5. Adjust Your A/C Settings
If beating the heat just won’t work without air conditioning, then consider smart home automation. Save both money and energy by controlling the temperature in your home from any location. Adjust your Z-wave-enabled thermostat right from your mobile phone when you’ve forgotten to adjust it before leaving for work or the weather suddenly changes. Better yet, create personalized scenes and schedules that let your life run on autopilot.
PRO TIP: Since light bulbs put out heat, consider connecting your interior lighting to the same Z-wave technology and adjusting as needed for additional savings.
We always have you and your home at top of mind. We hope you find that these easy tips will help reduce your energy costs while keeping you cool during those hot summer days! Contact us to learn more about Home Automation!