It’s no news that our Florida summers are long and hot, and result in very high electric bills for cooling. But you can do something about them by lowering your cooling load. To accomplish this, some of the recommended steps cost nothing, while others are relatively inexpensive. Each of the following tips will reduce the amount of time your air conditioner runs, increasing its life and decreasing your electric bills.
Shade the windows by using shade screens or window films that block the sunlight coming inside. Shade cloth can block as much as 90 percent of the heat entering your home, and window films provide year-round protection from heat gain or loss. Both shade cloth and window film are durable products that let you see outside. They work well, especially if you’re absent throughout the day and don’t want to keep your blinds or drapes closed all day long.
Increase the insulation in your attic. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you have at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic. Installing more is an inexpensive way to lower your cooling load for many years. Batt and blown-in insulation can be do-it-yourself projects with a high return on your investment.
- Seal the places in your home where the air can enter, increasing the indoor temperature and adding to the humidity your A/C has to remove. Look around the joints between the window frames and the walls. Fill any cracks with exterior caulk.
- Check the exterior doors. If you can see light coming in, apply fresh weather stripping. Each time your air conditioner turns on, it can pull in outdoor air, increasing your cooling load.
- Inspect the electrical switches and outlets on exterior walls. Sometimes these allow air to come in from the outdoors. Home improvement centers have foam seals to block the airflow.
- Look over your ductwork. Leaks can increase your cooling bill by as much as 30 percent.
Contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning & Heating to have us inspect your ducts for leaks and maintain your air conditioner to help you lower your A/C bills. We have provided HVAC services in Martin, Palm Beach and Indian River counties since 1973.