San Diego, CA (PRWEB) June 28, 2012
While Americans can expect record hot weather this summer, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are ways to cool the home down to reduce Utility bills when the temperature rises.
Making the home more energy efficient in the summer months is good not only for the environment but also the wallet. Fact: home owners incur high utility bills in the summer. These high bills can be avoided or at least reduced if you take a few measures. Although some of the measures seem expensive in the short term, money can be saved in the long run. Adjustments in the home can make it more energy efficient and save cash.
Always look for eco-friendly solutions. Here are a few steps to energy efficiency.
Plant deciduous shade trees and shrubs around the home to keep it cool. In the summer the foliage will block the rays of the sun, which cause the house to heat up. In the winter the bare branches will allow the heat to come through. This technique works particularly well for older home that are poorly insulated, and it can help keep newer homes cool as well, particularly if the trees are planted on the home's west side. Planting trees in strategic places around the house not only boosts property values but also reduces indoor temperatures by as much as 20 degrees.
Hang insulated curtains over the windows in the home. When closed, the curtains can block the sun's heat and prevent it from entering, which will keep it cooler.
Install a programmable Thermostat to keep the house comfortably cool in the summer.
Replace an old heating/cooling system with a new energy-efficient model. Systems made before 1992 waste about 35 percent of the fuel they use. Replace it with a condensing furnace with an annual efficiency of at least 90 percent to help cut down on energy use and costs.
Fact: Americans spend 22 Billion Dollars each year to cool their homes.
Here in California, a homeowner with a 2,800 square foot home, could easily spend $3,000 over a six month period using a central air conditioner for cooling.
The cost of electricity is not going down! In fact it is getting more costly every year!
Run ceiling, floor and whole house fans. Implementing this type of cooling system can help take some of the responsibility off an air conditioner to keep cool.
Whole House and Ceiling fans can cool up to 8-15 degrees, and they're relatively inexpensive to purchase. Running a fan only costs about a half a cent per hour.
Unlike air conditioning units that guzzle electricity to circulate chemically cooled air, a whole house ventilation system uses positive pressure to draw cool, fresh outside air into your home, while pushing stale hot air out at 15-20 times per hour. This results in a more comfortable living environment, improved air quality, and a drop in AC usage by 50-90%. In some instances AC is eliminated altogether! In fact, today’s whole house exhaust fans pay for themselves on average within 1.5 years, making them the most cost effective “green energy appliance” on the market.
Consider changing incandescent light bulbs that actually generate heat. Swap them out for energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs or LED's.
Check out all penetrations in the building envelope that would allow cool air to escape or warm air to enter. Be sure these are air sealed. Also check the quantity and quality of installation of the insulation in the attic and walls.
Plug home electronics into power strips and turn them off when the equipment is not in use (TV's and DVR's in standby mode still use several watts of power).
Take short showers instead of baths.
Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
Phoenix Energy and Construction promotes Energy Upgrade California in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties and its services on Home Performance Radio Show, broadcast throughout Southern California, every Friday, 4-5PM, on KFSD AM 1450 and KSPA AM 1510.
Visit http://www.phxenergy.info or call 1-760-212-4392