Sweltering heat has taken hold of the Charlotte-Gaston area, and if you’re like most residents, you’re looking for ways to combat high cooling costs. Here are six surefire ways you can reduce the need for air conditioning in your home to lower utility bills while maintaining a high level of comfort for the remainder of the cooling season.
Shore Up Attic Insulation
Attic insulation should be about 15 inches deep to help keep your home cooler during the summer months and warmer in the winter. Insulation batts are easy to install and will help reduce the need for air conditioning.
Seal Air Leaks
Preventing hot air from infiltrating your home is essential for reducing the load on your air conditioner. Seal around doors and windows with weatherstripping and caulk, and seal service entrances, pipes and vents on exterior walls with caulk or expandable spray foam.
Prevent Solar Heat Gain
The sun’s energy striking your home can heat it up quickly. Keep your window shades closed during the day. Plant vines and shrubs near the house to create a cooler microclimate and protect the walls from radiant heat. When you’re ready for a new paint job, choose a light color that won’t easily absorb heat.
Fans circulate air around your body to help you feel cooler and distribute cool air to the far reaches of the room, eliminating warm spots. Install ceiling fans or use portable fans in occupied rooms to help you feel cooler at higher thermostat settings.
Avoid Generating Heat
Use heat-generating appliances like the dishwasher, clothes dryer and stove during the cooler times of the day to avoid heating up the house and making the air conditioner work harder to keep you comfortable.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats let you program settings based on when you’re at home, asleep and at work. For every degree you set back your thermostat, you’ll save about 3 percent on your cooling costs.
For more advice about how you can reduce the need for air conditioning this summer, please feel free to contact us in the Charlotte or Gaston area at Ross & Witmer.