What a beautiful 4th of July weekend we just had! Let’s hope the great weather lasts for all of us golfers, boaters, and swimmers here in Central New York. And if it does, we’ll be turning on our room or central air conditioners. So this is a good time for some tips on home cooling.
Did you know that 2/3 of all U.S. homes have air conditioners? And $11 Billion is what it costs homeowners for power to keep them running. So we checked with U.S. Department of Energy and found some terrific information on home cooling.
Natural Ventilation Can Cool Your Home
- It seems obvious, but opening your windows to allow natural wind to create a “chimney effect” cools your home. Letting the clean air of the Mohawk Valley breeze through your home is an inexpensive way to keep cool.
- Fans also create a wind chill effect in your home. You can use ceiling fans or even table, floor, and wall-mounted fans to cool your room. But fans cool people, not rooms, so to save energy, turn them off when you leave.
- Whole house fans pull air in through your windows where it exits your attic and roof. These are professionally installed and may be a substitute for central air conditioning.
How You Can Lower Your Home Cooling Costs
- You could install a programmable thermostat, which could save you up to 10% on your heating and cooling costs per year. These are thermostats where you control the settings to take effect at different times of the day. So you regulate the temperature ahead of time based on when you’re actually home.
- Use a ceiling fan…see above.
- Insulate your attic and walls, seal cracks and openings. Just as this saves on heat during our long Central New York winters, it also keeps warm air out during the summer.
- Insulate and seal your ducts. Air loss through ducts can account for up to 30% of your cooling costs.
- On hot days, use the outdoor grill instead of the stove. It’s fun and you don’t heat up the house. And turn on the fan when you take a shower. This keeps the bathroom heat and humidity out of the house.
- Install window coverings such as shades, draperies, or awnings. These can save on heat in the winter when they let in the sunlight and cool your home in the summer by blocking the sun.
- If you do get an air conditioner, get an ENERGY STAR-qualified unit. It can be up to 15% more efficient than non-qualified conditioners.
We recommend you take a look at the Energy Department’s Energy Saver 101 Infographic: Home Cooling for much more on air conditioners, how they work, and some good maintenance tips.
Now let’s hope that we continue to get a summer with days where you’ll need to cool off a bit inside.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.