If you’ve been through a hot, humid Iowa summer, you know what’s in store this season. Extreme temperatures are not only uncomfortable, they can also take a toll on your utility bills. While we can’t control the weather, at Wyckoff Heating & Cooling we do have a few cost effective ways to keep indoor temperatures and your energy bill down all season long.
- Close blinds and curtains. Did you know, up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows? Utilizing even inexpensive shades or curtains during peak daytime hours can save up to seven percent on your bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Pay extra attention to south and west facing windows, and make sure blinds or curtains are white on the side facing outside.
- Rotate ceiling fans counterclockwise. Often overlooked, ceiling fans play a key role in the airflow in your home. Ceiling fans should be adjusted seasonally. In the summer, set fans counterclockwise and at a higher speed to create a breeze effect and keep your family cooler. You can also create a cooling effect by utilizing fans throughout your home. Remember, fans are only effective when you’re in the room to feel the cool air. Be sure to turn them off when you leave.
- Opt for CFL or LED lighting. Incandescent light bulbs can significantly heat up a room and waste up to 90 percent of their energy. Replace standard light bulbs with high efficiency, low-heat CFL or LED bulbs and turn lights off when not in use. These small changes will go a long way in cooling your home and lowering utility bills.
- Keep windows and doors closed and air tight. Windows and doors can be a major source of heat gain in the house, so keep windows closed and doors tightly closed to prevent cool air from escaping. Older single pane windows and doors without proper weather stripping are the worst culprits. At the very least, repair gaps or replace weather stripping around windows and doors.
- Cook outdoors. Using your oven or stove in the summertime will make the heat rise in your home. Eat cold meals, cook outside on the grill or microwave when possible to minimize heat indoors. If you need to use the oven or stove, be sure to cover pots to minimize humidity, utilize a vent fan and limit the number of times you open the oven door.
- Clean air filters. In the summer months, your air conditioner is working overtime to keep your home cool. This also means the filter is working twice as hard. Change your system’s filter regularly during the hottest months to allow air to flow easily through your HVAC system, making it run more efficiently and saving energy.
- Turn off electronics and appliances. Computers, televisions, dishwashers, washers and dryers all generate heat – especially when running. Avoid use of major appliances until the evening if possible and unplug electronics when not in use. Wash clothes in cold water and dry them outside when possible. A surge protector is an easy way to turn off all electronics with the switch of one button.
- Keep cool at night. Focus on cotton and light-weight materials for bedding, and avoid flannel and fleece which retain warmth. Consider opportunities to add cooling aids, such as a Chillow cooling pad under your head or filling a hot water bottle with cold water, to keep you cool throughout the night. If the temperature drops at night, consider opening windows in the evening.
- Make cooling down a long-term strategy. If you plan to stay in your home for several years, there are many ways you can discover additional savings that will pay off in the long run. Plant shade trees on the south and west sides of your home; add awnings over sunny windows; invest in additional attic insulation and replace dark roof coverings with light-colored shingles.
- Ensure your air conditioner is running at peak performance. A key component to your home comfort is the proper functionality of your HVAC system. Routine tune-ups through Wyckoff’s Peace of Mind program ensure your cooling system is up to the tough job of keeping your home cool through another Iowa summer.
To get more tips or to have a Wyckoff professional come out and evaluate your home and system, contact us or call (800) 246-0273 to schedule your HVAC system tune-up today.