Originally published in June 2017, update May 2020.
For many Houston residents, summer means blasting the air conditioner and paying sky-high energy bills. If wasting energy makes you cringe, rest assured that you can make a difference. This summer, go green and lower your household energy consumption with these three energy-efficient home improvements.
Tighten the Building Envelope
At Davis Air Conditioning & Heating, we know that energy efficiency starts with your home’s building envelope. Consider getting a professional energy audit or doing one yourself. This will open your eyes to cracks and openings where air leaks out of and seeps into your home. Use caulk, weather-stripping, or even draft stoppers to prevent air leaks and tighten your home’s envelope.
Rethink Window Treatments
Light, airy curtains let in plenty of natural light, but they also allow the sun’s rays seep into your home. This forces your air conditioner to work harder and can waste energy.
Consider replacing lightweight curtains with heavier drapes that have a reflective backing. You can also shield windows with outdoor awnings or window films. In fact, installing awnings on west-facing windows can reduce heat gain by up to 77 percent, which can lower your energy bill significantly.
Upgrade the Air Conditioner
If your home’s air conditioner has kept your family cool for more than a decade, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement. Our team recommends upgrading your air conditioner every 10 years or so, since doing this allows you to take advantage of the latest energy-efficient features.
When you’re shopping for a new cooling system, look for a model that has a two-stage compressor for the ideal cooling power and a variable-speed motor to optimize the temperature in your home. These systems can run at a percentage of their capacity to keep temperatures even throughout your home, saving you money. When it’s a super-hot day, they can run at capacity or a higher percentage to keep up with heat gain. We offer several units with high seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings so you can cool your home as efficiently as possible.
Whether you’re in the market for a high-tech air conditioner or you need to schedule preventive HVAC maintenance, Davis Air Conditioning & Heating is here to help. Call our team for all your summertime HVAC needs.
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