Energy conservation is something that most San Diego homeowners take an interest in. Even if it didn’t save you money on your monthly bills, the environmental impact of energy consumption is very serious. This is why we at Sheldon's Heating & Air Conditioning have put together a helpful resource of ways to save energy at home this summer.
Energy-saving tips for Southern California homeowners
During the summer, there are many ways to save energy at home. Saving energy translates to saving money on utility bills. It is harder to conserve energy in the summertime in warm climates because heat often seems to find a way to seep into your home. Homeowners can make some fundamental changes to save money on utilities. Here are some energy-saving tips:
Seal and ventilate your attic
As heat rises, it’s important to have a proper path for the hot air in your home to escape through the attic, so that your home doesn’t retain so much heat in the summer. Even simply placing vents on the very top of your home instead of the sides can make a huge difference. Installing a radiant heat barrier in your attic is also a little-known, yet extremely effective way to keep your home cool. As the sun’s rays travel downward, your attic is the first point of contact for your home. A radiant barrier reflects these rays and prevents the heat from getting into your home in the first place. Insulation and proper sealing will have the same effect on the heat that is already in your attic. Keep your living areas comfortable this summer by starting at the top of your home.
One easy way to cool a home is by applying interior window treatments throughout the home. Prevent the sun from entering the room with window shades, draperies, interior shutters, and blinds. Anything that keeps the sun from shining into a room and heating the air and furnishings will make things cooler. The cooler it is, the less power is needed to run your air conditioner.
Always turn off lights. While everybody knows better than to leave their lights on, it’s often overlooked. Don’t forget that this doesn’t just use up energy, but inefficient incandescent lights produce heat which can trigger your AC. Install dimmer switches on existing lighting to lower watt usage. Turn lights off completely when no one is home. If people get home when it is dark, and they want a lit entrance, use a lamp timer. Program it to come on at dusk. This will conserve energy during the daytime and provide safety when it gets dark.
There are many different ways to provide exterior shade for the home. Most people think about planting trees to prevent the sun from shining on the home’s exterior and transferring its radiant heat energy. Another great way to shade your exterior is by installing awnings over the tops of windows, especially those on the upper levels of the home. They create instant shade and will prevent whistling wind from penetrating the windows directly. Most awnings require little maintenance beyond the occasional power washing.
Think about buying a ventilated cover over the air-conditioner unit. These covers are cheap and will give your unit some much-needed shade during the summertime. An air-conditioning unit with shade consumes less electricity than those exposed to the sun.
The AC unit you use can also play a great role in your home’s overall energy consumption. Even if you adhere to these energy-saving tips, an outdated unit may still drive up your energy bills. Consider replacing your AC unit with a newer, more energy-efficient model as the summer continues to heat up.