With record high energy rates this year, it is even more important to save on home cooling costs. See how to save energy on air conditioner in summer.
Investing in long-term solutions for saving on home cooling can save you money in the long run. Here are some little-known unusual home improvements to save on home cooling costs:
- Use Mini Splits for HVAC when possible: Everyone wants to know the cheapest way to cool a house. If you have a home that is less than 1000 square feet and you live in a climate that rarely gets below 20 degrees F, you should really consider a mini split system to save on home cooling. They use much less wattage than a traditional central A/C system, and they move and cool air much more efficiently.
- Air Seal BEFORE you insulate: If you don’t air seal first and then insulate second, then outside air will pass right through your insulation. That is the nice thing about the Flueblocker, it will air seal and insulate your fireplace chimney in one shot and save on home cooling. That is why it is so good at sealing out chimney odors as well. Air Sealing is important in your attic especially. You should peel back your attic insulation and look at the drywall on top of electrical boxes and wall caps, as well as any pipe, HVAC, or electrical penetrations in the drywall. All of those spots should be caulked or foamed before the insulation is laid over them. If you see dirty black areas in your insulation near these penetrations, then that tells you your air sealing is insufficient.
- Programmable Thermostats: Using a programmable thermostat can save on home cooling costs in the long run. By setting your AC as high as is comfortably possible and using a programmable thermostat to increase temperature when you’re out, or asleep, could easily decrease your summer cooling bill by 10%.Some people wonder: “Does setting AC higher save money?” and “What is the best temperature for AC to save money?” The best AC setting to save money is to set your thermostat to 78ºF instead of 72ºF, and use ceiling fans to move the air to make it feel 7ºF cooler. You can cut as much as 18% off your summer cooling costs.
Consider attic ventilation: There are many kinds of attic fans, but I am going to speak about gable fans in particular to save on home cooling. If you have HVAC vents and air handlers in your attic, this is a very important topic to save on home cooling. Look to see if you have the 3 kinds of attic venting, they are gable vents, ridge vents and soffit vents.
If you have all 3, then you may want to have an adjustable speed gable vent installed. on cool days the fan does not turn on, but on hot days it will draw in outside air to keep your attic cooler and save on home cooling.
Lighter colored shingles or metal roofing: If you are looking to replace your roof soon, consider light grey colored shingle to save on cooling costs in the summer. These are called Cool Roof systems, and they come in many different kinds of roofing material from asphalt, to metal, to tile, etc… Just like wearing light colored clothes makes you feel cooler on a hot day, Cool Roofs limit the amount of radiant heat a roof surface transmits through to the attic space.