6 Home Upgrades to Reduce Your Lake Jackson, TX AC Bills
The summers around Lake Jackson, TX get hot and muggy, making you thankful for your air conditioning. However, running your AC can get expensive when the temperatures get extreme. Consider these six springtime home upgrades you can implement to reduce your cooling bills.
1. Check Your Insulation
Start by checking the condition of the insulation under in your attic. Ideally, you’ll want somewhere between about R30 and R60, which translates into at least 9 inches of fiberglass insulation. Even if you previously had this much insulation, you should check it annually to ensure it’s still in good condition.
Insulation has several things that may lower its effectiveness. Fiberglass insulation will absorb moisture and cause it to condense, losing some of its rating. Further, rodents and other animals can wreak havoc on your insulation, causing additional problems.
You may not need to replace or add insulation throughout your entire attic. Rather, there may only be certain damaged spots that need some work. A professional can easily evaluate your insulation, and help you plan the best approach to raise your insulation value.
2. Upgrade Window and Door Seals
Your windows and doors can be the greatest source of unintentional heat gain, driving up your cooling costs. The older your windows are, the more they’ll leak, with 20 years being about their expected service life.
Even if you don’t replace your windows and doors, you can improve how well they’re sealed. Consider adding storm doors and windows, which adds an extra layer of insulation. You can also use weather stripping around both doors and windows to help cut down heat transfer.
3. Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans provide an important service to your home, helping circulate conditioned air. However, they can also cut down on your cooling costs.
A ceiling fan doesn’t actually cool your home’s air any further than your AC already does. However, with a ceiling fan spinning counterclockwise, it produces a wind chill effect, making the air feel cooler. This results in being more comfortable while leaving your thermostat a few degrees higher.
4. Upgrade Your Thermostat
Your thermostat is essential to keeping your system running efficiently. Running your AC when no one is home means you’re expending maximum energy for no one’s benefit. The alternative is using a thermostat with a programming feature.
According to the Department of Energy, raising your temperature for at least 8 hours each day can turn into savings. In fact, it can cut up to 10% of your annual cooling costs.
5. Switch Light Bulbs
Your light bulbs can be a major source of heat within your home. If you’re still using incandescent light bulbs anywhere in your home, you’re literally burning money. These bulbs use more power, plus cause your AC to work harder to cool your home.
LED bulbs are the most efficient and lowest heat producing. Next to LEDs, CFLs and halogen lightbulbs are the next coolest. Even If you do one room over time, swap them out to reduce the energy expended and heat produced.
6. Upgrade Your Ventilation
Part of running an effective HVAC system includes exchanging stagnant air from inside with fresh air from outside. Heat slowly builds up in the space between your roof and your home’s ceilings. To reduce the effect of that trapped heat, there must be a way for it to escape, which is what vents do.
An increasingly popular ventilation option is the ERV unit, which stands for Energy Recovery Ventilator. These have an internal heat exchanger that allows the outbound air to transfer heat to and from the incoming air.
In the summer, it transfers incoming heat out, and in the winter transfers outbound heat to incoming air. This results in preconditioned air coming into the HVAC system, reducing the system’s workload. Not only does this save on your cooling costs, but also helps to reduce the number of AC repairs needed.
Keeping your system properly maintained is one of the best investments you can make toward reducing your cooling costs. Call to schedule your AC tune-up with the award-winning technicians at Davis Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc.
Image provided by iStock
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