100+ degree temperatures in the south during the summer are common place. Because of this, air conditioning is not only needed, it’s almost required. In the south, we don’t judge an air conditioner by what it looks by, but by how well it works. When an air conditioner is working at maximum efficiency, not only is it cooling the home properly, but saving you money. But how do you get your system to work more efficiently? Simply put, you need to get rid of the sources of heat in your home. While you can’t get rid of your stove, and water heater, and other things of this nature that do heat your home, you can get rid of excess heat. If your home has an attic, there is an entire portion of your home that could benefit from some heat reduction. Not only will it help your system run more efficiently, by keeping the home cooler for longer, but because the system is working more efficiently, your homes energy bill will be lower.
- Fill in all cracks and holes. This is extremely important, as this is usually where cold air from inside the home will escape the home. Caulking and sealing all holes, including around any recessed light and vent, will help the cool air from escaping the home into the attic. During the summer, an attic can reach temperatures in excess of 150 degrees, heating your home.
- Installing Insulation. Insulation is your first line defense in both heating and cooling. Insulation will help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, by keeping the outside air outside, and the inside air inside, with minimal heat exchange. When looking at the different types of insulation, a higher R-value means better heat blocking. No matter what type or brand of insulation that you choose, make sure to exercise caution, as insulation can irate skin and cause respiratory problems (such as trigger asthma attacks, or cause irritation of the lungs).
- Add vents. Adding vents to let the heat escape the attic is one of the best things you can do. While most homes might have an attic vent, this vent is generally not enough on its own. This upgrade for your home pays back in dividends, because the vents are inexpensive, and relatively easy to install, making a DIY project save you even more money, on top of the money you will save on your electrical bill each month. On average, an extra vent can help lower your bill by as much as 10%.
- Attic Fans. Attic fans are among some of the best ways to get the heat out of the attic. Attic fans basically suck the hot air from inside the attic, and blow it outside the home, thereby cooling the attic. This alone can help lower your energy bill by leaps and bounds. It will also reduce the strain on your air conditioner, making it last longer. Attic fans can be installed by a homeowner, but most are large, and can be quite heavy, requiring that a contractor come install the fans.