Tips to Beat the Heat This SummerMay 24th 2012
With summer on the way, here are a few simple tips you can follow to stay comfortable, being as energy efficient as possible.
• 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.
• 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 (www.newcosolarsolutions.com).
• 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. The Draftstopper is an easy to install, inflatable PVC ‘pillow’.
• Compact fluorescent and LED lighting use much less energy than incandescent lamps, last much longer and produce the same amount of light without producing heat.
• Heat Pumps – they are an efficient method of heating a home during the cold winter months and also cooling it during the 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 through a condensing process. In colder weather, however, the process reverses, collecting heat from the outdoor air and transferring it inside your home. The heat pump pulls the heat from this cold outdoor air and sends it inside to warm your home, using a similar process that a refrigerator would
• 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 home’s 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. There are also ductless air conditioning units available for homes or condominiums without ducting, you can contact Bakerview Heating & Cooling for more information.
A few terms you may run into while researching heat pumps and 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. The higher the SEER value for the equipment, the more energy efficient the equipment will be.
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. It is also important that the glass spacer used is manufactured using a material that is resistant to heat transfer.
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 will help reduce the heat and ultraviolet rays which can fade furniture and flooring.
By caulking around your windows, and sealing electrical outlets (using foam seals) 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.