Tips to Beat the Heat This Summer
July 13, 2010Here are some simple HouseSmart tips to cool down your home in the hot summer months:
• Fans use less energy than air conditioners but should only be operated when the room is occupied.
• Keep the pilot light off on your gas fireplace during the summer months and when it is not being used regularly.
• Cook using your BBQ. Operating a natural gas BBQ costs over 50 percent less than propane and does not heat up your home – saving energy used to cool your home.
• Suitable window coverings will improve the comfort level in your home immensely during the warm summer months and reduce energy needed to cool your home.
• Skylight Shades - Skylights are a great way to let natural light enter your home, but the intense heat and light of the sun can heat up the interior of your home in a hurry, and make that natural light almost unbearable. An easy solution to this is the Sun Blocker by Newco Solar Solutions
• Studies have proven that homes with fireplaces use 30% more energy than homes without fireplaces. The Fireplace Plug or Draftstopper is designed to reduce Energy lost up the chimney, from home heating & cooling, when the fireplace is not in use.
• Compact fluorescent lamps use 75% less energy than incandescent lamps, last ten times longer and produce the same amount of light without producing heat.
• If you use glass or ceramic baking dishes you can lower the baking temperature 25 degrees since these materials retain heat better than others.
• During the hot summer months remove the attic access panel. You can place an inexpensive furnace filter over the attic access hole to stop any insulation bits or dust from coming down into your home.
• Turn on the summer fan on your furnace.
• Try opening screened doors and/or windows BEFORE you turn on the air conditioning! For outswing window/door designs, put in either manually operated or motorized retractable screen systems. To view the Mirage Retractable Screen, visit www.miragescreensystems.com
• Heat Pumps – they are an efficient method of heating a home during the cold winter months and also cooling it during the blistering summer months. A heat pump looks like an air conditioner, but that’s only the outside appearance. It actually has two functions based on the same principles for both. In warm weather situations, the heat pump works as a normal air conditioner. It extracts heat from inside the home and transfers it to the outdoor air.
• Air conditioners can be costly to operate if used ineffectively. It’s important to ensure that your homes windows are closed before you turn on your air conditioner, so as to ensure the warm air from outside is not working against the air conditioner attempting to cool your homes interior. Also check your homes humidity levels. Moist air is substantially more difficult to heat or cool, and the drier the air is, the easier it will be on both your heating and cooling equipment.
A few terms you may run into while researching air conditioners are:
BTU - (British Thermal Unit) is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
One Ton - this is the cooling effect felt by the melting of one ton of ice in a 24-hour period. One Ton = 12,000 BTU .
SEER - (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) represents the average efficiency over an entire year. A SEER with a value of 13 (effective 2005) is now the base unit efficiency mandated by Government regulation. But as the cost of energy increases many homeowners are opting for the 15 - 21 SEER units. The appeal is enhanced moisture removal, whisper quiet operation, better warranties, lower operating costs and higher end fit and finish.
Mitsubishi has several heating and air conditioning products that can keep you cool while reducing your energy usage.
Mr. Slim ductless split system is the energy-smart choice for providing comfort and efficient cooling in the middle of this heat wave. In addition to qualifying for government rebates, these 14 Energy-Star models are also backed by the unmatched Mitsubishi quality and support that both you and your customer will surely appreciate.
Mr. Slim Ducted System
Mr. Slim has introduced a new lineup of Energy-Star-rated ducted-split systems which has all the benefits of mini-split, plus more. The low profile ceiling concealed indoor units can be installed in the attic or in basement plenum and run with small diameter ductworks, which gives more flexibility to distribute air evenly over a wider area.
The revolutionary Zuba-Central all-climate heat pump is the final answer for ending the high energy bills. With energy savings of up to 70%, this quiet, compact and Energy-Star-rated Zuba-Central ties in with existing home ductwork providing year-long heating and cooling. One of the major benefits of their system over other heat pumps is that it can operate efficiently way below 0°C. The Zuba-Central can deliver 80% of rated heating capacity even at -25°C, where typical heat pumps cannot.
• Windows and draft proofing
Replacing your old windows with a new energy efficient model will help you keep your home cooler in the summer. Keep in mind that the installation is just as important as the window. Choose a vinyl framed window that has substantial chambers or air cavities in the structure of the vinyl extrusion. Also, using the warm edge white super spacer product will provide you with one of the best glass spacers.
Make sure that the glass includes at least Low Emissive Squared. Low-e2 windows have a clear coating on the glass to keep heat out during the summer and heat in during the winter. This is very energy efficient and reduces the heat and ultraviolet gains. Most window supply and installation services would recommend doing the entire home at the same time and will offer a payment plan. If your budget doesn’t allow you to change all your windows at once, plan to install new windows in phases starting with where your family spends most of their time
By caulking around your windows, and sealing electrical outlets and other areas that air will escape or enter your home, you are increasing the efficiency of your home, so the air you cool with your air conditioner is not just escaping outside through these areas. It’s a simple job that takes minimal effort, but the energy savings are definitely worth it.
**Grants & Rebates Available: Be sure to check in your area for any rebates that may be available to you.**
By following some of these tips, you can make your home more comfortable in the hot Summer months. For more information on who or what to use to keep your family cool this summer, visit www.TheHouseSmart.com