CLEVELAND – June 14, 2012 – If you’re looking to keep your cool this summer and more of your cash, you need to consider these three summer energy saving tips. According to the US Department of Energy, cooling your home in summer uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home. For a typical home, more than half of the utility bill goes toward keeping your home cool.
The first tip almost seems counter-intuitive, but it’s not — and that’s adding additional insulation to your walls and attic. Most homeowners think insulation in only something that keeps the home warm and cozy in the winter because it helps keep the heat from escaping. However, insulation also keeps a home cool and cozy in the summer by helping keep the cool air in and the heat and humidity out. According to the DOE, only 20 percent of the houses built before 1980 are considered well insulated.
“In the winter homeowners battle heat loss; in the summer heat gain,” said USA Insulation President Pat Pitrone, whose company offers homeowners a free home energy consultation. “Too many homeowners are quick to blame their air conditioner for the high summer energy bills. Most AC units are innocent — it’s the walls and attic that are guilty of inadequate insulation.”
When insulating, remember to insulate the attic door as well, said Pitrone.
It’s also important to make sure the “shell” around your home is adequately sealed. Cracks, gaps, holes and other openings not properly sealed provide an easy escape route for your conditioned air. Caulk, spray foam and weather stripping can not only cure most of the common areas of leakage, but also improve interior air quality.
According to Pitrone, adequate wall and attic insulation, along with proper air sealing, can reduce energy bills by as much as 30 to 50 percent year round.
A third tip is shading the home and its windows and doors from direct sunlight. When heat and light enter your home through windows and doors, it forces your air conditioner to work harder. This can be remedied by installing window shades and awnings, as well as by planting trees.
PHOTO CAPTION: If your home is difficult to cool in the summer, don’t blame your air conditioner. It’s likely because you have inadequate insulation.