Is your home hotter than a pizza oven during the summer? While you may be quick to blame your air conditioner, there are plenty of other factors around the house that contribute to the problem. Here are the top issues our energy technicians often run into when a customer complains about why they can’t keep their house cool.
1. To stay cool, your home needs insulation.
Imagine this: You’re at the beach. You and your best friend both take cans of soda out of a cooler. One of you puts your drink in a koozie while the other starts drinking his/hers right away. The weather is beautiful so you put your drinks down and enjoy the water for a bit. When you come back, you find the one in the koozie is still cold, while the plain can is unpleasantly warm. Why? Because of the extra layer of insulation.
Many homes in warmer climates have little, if any, insulation. Not sure if your home is well-insulated? Schedule a home energy assessment to learn where your home is losing energy. Remember, you not only have to think about your walls, but also your floors and attic. A well-insulated attic will help prevent water damage, mold, and other allergens in your home. Spray foam insulation is the best type of insulation on the market; when installed properly, there’s nowhere for the air to flow through. Air leaking through other types of insulation can cause you to feel like you’re melting, even when your air conditioner is on full blast.
2. Warm air is creeping into your home.
When you let air slip through the cracks, you’re also letting money slip through the cracks. Your HVAC unit works hard to cool the air in your home, but poorly insulated walls and other areas of your home let the cold air slip right through its fingers. And don’t forget: You’re not only losing conditioned air but also letting in the humid, hot outdoor air. The biggest culprits of air leakage in the home are your windows and doors. Here are some steps you can take to seal up air leakages in your home:
- Install window coverings: Blinds and curtains are not only for decoration, but they can also help keep your home cooler during the summer. Once you install shades, be sure to keep them closed on very sunny days. You’d be surprised how much heat a little sunshine can give off.
- Air sealing: Outside airflow accounts for 30% or more of your home’s cooling costs. Drastically reduce your energy bill by air sealing the problem areas of your home. Common culprits include ducts, windows, and plumbing.
- Replace your windows: This is the most drastic measure you can take, and it will also cost you a pretty penny. If you’re thinking about replacing your windows, ask yourself several questions. Have you tried the first two methods? Did they work? Is your home more than a few decades old? Does your home feel drafty? It might be time to take the plunge and purchase new windows. The bright side is that they pay for themselves after a few years thanks to the energy savings.
3. Your HVAC system needs a good scrubbing.
There are some things that you can get away with not cleaning for a while, such as your favorite pair of pants. Other things, such as your heating and cooling system, need to be scrubbed down on occasion to keep your family healthy and your energy bills down. Did you know that dusty HVAC ducts not only can circulate pollutants around your home but also takes a toll on your system? That’s right, your system has to work almost twice as hard to cool air if it’s been a while since its last cleaning. If you’ve been toying with the idea that your HVAC system needs to be replaced, first have your HVAC ducts cleaned. You’d be surprised how powerful it still is once the filters are changed out.
Don’t let your hot home or high energy bills keep you up at night. Contact Energy Monster today to learn how you can make your home cool and comfortable.