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Tips on Cooling Down a Sun-Facing Room in the Summer

The most effective ways to stay comfortable

Direct sunlight helps warm your New England home in the winter, but it can cause air-conditioning costs to soar during hot weather. Sun exposure increases a room’s cooling needs by 10 percent, according to The Nest. Fortunately, you can cool sun-facing spaces affordably if you make various changes to the windows, walls or HVAC equipment.

Adding Wall Insulation

You’ll spend much more money to air-condition a sunny area that lacks adequate insulation. You could reduce its cooling needs by about 25 percent if you thoroughly insulate the walls. Some siding panels and doors come with built-in insulation.

Planting More Trees

Although this solution requires patience, a relatively small investment can cut cooling expenses for many years. You should only shade windows with trees if you’re willing to accept somewhat higher lighting and heating costs. Choose deciduous species to minimize shading during the cold months.

Upgrading Your Windows

The majority of the sun’s heat enters your home through glass, so it’s wise to concentrate on the windows. Well-sealed units with multiple panes and low-emissivity glass would allow much less summer heat to reach your living quarters. They can also prevent warmth from escaping the house in cold weather.

Think about installing awnings above doors and windows. They stop direct sunlight from reaching window panes and let homeowners benefit from natural light at the same time. Movable awnings come in handy when temperatures drop; you can maximize the sun’s warmth by retracting them. This equipment reduces the risk of water damage as well.

Any curtain or blind will decrease a sun-facing room’s temperature if you close it. For the best results, choose a reflective or white material. Insulated curtains also cut cooling expenses to a greater degree. Don’t forget to open blinds and windows during the nighttime hours.

Indoor Heat Sources

The sun doesn’t produce all of the warmth in your home. Keep in mind that light bulbs, computers, TVs, refrigerators and coffee makers can generate considerable amounts of heat. If possible, move these machines to other rooms or acquire more efficient appliances.

Your Cooling Equipment

You might save electricity by installing or making better use of a programmable HVAC thermostat. Set it to increase the temperature during hours when you usually leave the house. Although a sun-facing room may need a few more minutes to cool down, there’s no reason to air-condition unoccupied areas for long periods of time.

Dupuis Energy can help Massachusetts and Rhode Island residents cool their homes more efficiently. Our technicians perform routine maintenance that reduces the power consumption of existing equipment. We also install reliable new air conditioners with highly efficient technology. Please contact Dupuis to arrange a convenient appointment.

The Best AC Temperatures for the Summer

ac temperature

Summer is here, and that means energy bills are going up with the temperature. However, you can keep energy bills lower without breaking a sweat — literally! Maintaining a comfortable temperature at home is easier and more affordable than many people realize.

The Comfort Spectrum

There is no single magic temperature at which everyone feels perfectly comfortable. Even you yourself, thanks to your circadian rhythm, experience metabolic changes throughout the day. When you go to sleep, you likely want it a few degrees cooler than during the day. Have you just eaten a big meal? You probably feel a bit warmer than usual.
Humans, by and large, feel comfortable between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you keep the thermostat at 72 or 76, your family will feel about the same, but keeping your home at 76 can significantly reduce your utility bills.

Keep Humidity Low

Summer tends to be more humid, which is why we use humidifiers only in the winter. As a rule of thumb, your home’s relative humidity should be around 50 percent. The comfortable range actually extends from about 35 to 60 percent, but 50 percent is ideal. Drying the air has a few substantial benefits. Dry air:
• Costs less to cool
• Cools more quickly
• Feels cooler
• Inhibits mold growth
One of the main ways your body sheds excess heat is through evaporation. When your internal body temperature hits 98.7 degrees, your sweat pores open up. As the sweat evaporates, it carries some of your body’s heat with it. Your sweat can’t evaporate at all at 100 percent relative humidity, but at 0 percent relative humidity, sweat will evaporate nearly instantaneously.
However, keeping the relative humidity too low is inadvisable. All of the problems that come with winter — cracked lips, dry eyes, and all the rest — will make you miserable regardless of how warm or cool you feel.
Dress in Layers
Some of the most effective ways to stay cool this summer don’t involve the thermostat at all. Dressing in layers is always a smart choice. If you feel too warm, take some articles of clothing off, and if you’re too cold, bundle up.

Use a Fan

Using a fan can also work wonders. Whether it’s a ceiling, floor, or tiny tabletop fan, air moving across your body will make you feel several degrees cooler. Fans use a small fraction of the energy that air conditioners require, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your energy bills drop.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is quickly becoming a must-have feature for any HVAC system. It’s possible to manually adjust the temperature when you wake up, go to work, come home, and go to sleep, but it’s much easier to simply let your thermostat do all the work for you. Even better, programmable thermostats never forget, and newer models will begin adjusting the temperature ahead of schedule so that it reaches your target temperature exactly when you want it.
Want more energy-saving tips to stay comfortable this summer? Please contact us or give us a call today!

Savvy Strategies for Summer Energy Savings

energy savingSave energy in summer with these cool tips

During the warmest months of the year, you may reach the point where all you want is some cool relief no matter the cost. Before that happens this summer, get prepared with an arsenal of simple strategies to help your air conditioning system work more efficiently so you can keep your cool when the energy bill arrives.

Preparation is the Best Defense Against Energy Waste

Early in the spring, schedule a maintenance visit from your HVAC service company. Over the winter, dust and debris can collect on the coils, fins and filter of your AC unit, causing a predictable decline in its efficiency, according to the Office of Energy Efficiency. It is a simple matter to replace the filter yourself, but maintaining the interior parts and checking for potential problems are best left to qualified technicians. As a regular maintenance customer, you may even enjoy such benefits as repair discounts and/or priority emergency services. Just check with your HVAC company.

Besides keeping the cooling system itself in top condition, pay attention to the surrounding environment. Ill-fitting windows and doors work at cross-purposes with your air conditioner. They let cooled air out and warm air in, so be sure to fix any leaks before it’s time to crank up your cooling equipment. Caulk, weather stripping, window replacement and extra insulation go a long way toward significant energy savings.

Simple Tricks for Staying Comfortable

Speaking of windows, you can incorporate them into your energy savings strategy too. If you live in a climate that cools off at night, open your windows at bedtime to stay cool and enjoy some fresh air. Be sure to adjust your thermostat to give your cooling system a break at night. Another good energy-saving habit is covering your closed windows during the heat of the day with light-blocking curtains that fend off solar rays.

Managing Your Programmable Thermostat

If you aren’t an expert at programming your thermostat to maximize energy efficiency, ask your HVAC tech to help during your annual a/c maintenance visit. When programming your thermostat for the summer months:

  • Set your thermostat as high as your family can comfortably tolerate.
  • Set it higher during the times when you are normally not at home.
  • Don’t try to cool your home more quickly by setting the thermostat lower because it is inefficient.
  • Make sure your thermostat is located away from direct sunlight, windows, doors and drafts.
  • Move obstructions to natural air flow, such as large furnishings, away from the thermostat.


Dupuis Energy of Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts Can Help

Contact us at Dupuis Energy today to get more smart energy savings tips plus HVAC installation, maintenance and repair. We help your family stay comfortable in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts with efficient ideas that keep your energy usage under control.