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.