Energy Efficiency Dos and Don’ts During A Heat Wave
Weather has never been totally predictable. But there was a time when spring was spring and summer was summer—and heat waves came once a summer instead of once a month.
Just when you think the spring weather is finally becoming beautiful, that’s when a heat wave will strike. Don’t wait until a sudden 95-degree day to get your AC checked, and be sure to follow these simple techniques to keep your energy costs low as you attempt to stay cool at home.
Here are some energy efficiency dos and don’ts to consider for when the next wicked heat wave sweeps through your neighborhood.
A Couple of Don’ts
First, we’ll start with a few strategies you should never use in a heat wave. These are the things that could double your energy bills—or cause dangerous situations in your home.
Don’t Push the Limits of Your AC
The first mistake people make when it gets hot out is that they run the AC into the red zone. Just because it’s hotter outside doesn’t mean you have to compensate by creating a wintry environment inside. Use moderation; keep your home comfortable.
This is best achieved with a central air conditioning system or a ductless AC built into a specific room or set of rooms in your home. These systems do more than blow cold air in your face; they maintain a comfortable climate without constant changes in temperature. It’s efficient—and cost-effective.
Don’t Get Creative
You’ve seen it in movies and TV shows: the guy who rigs up three dozen fans in front of his fridge in order to blow that cool air into the living room. This kind of electrical creativity is a bad idea; obviously, it won’t work, but it’s also very expensive.
Moreover, you could overload a circuit with all those plugs. A fan in each room is ok, as long as you make the effort to turn them off when they’re not in use. Same goes for other appliances and gadgets: the less you have plugged into your walls, the less heat will circulate around your home. Think about how hot your laptop gets when it’s charging. Yes, even that will make a difference.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t overwork yourself. Stay relaxed and you won’t need to jack your AC unit up to the coldest setting, wasting money and straining your circuit breaker. That means refraining from excessive yard work and walking pets for long distances. Keep them in the shade, and do your best not to walk them in the middle of the day. Ergo, the cooler you remain during the day, the lower you can keep the settings on your AC. And that will save you money.
A Couple of Dos
Now here are some things you should do during a heat wave to cut costs and stay safe.
There are other ways to cool your body than just sitting in front of your AC’s vent. Drinking water and taking cool showers is a great way to keep your body temperature down. Plus, if you aren’t taking hot showers, you’ll save on gas or electricity!
Clean Air Filters
Keep your AC’s filters clean to ensure that you’re experiencing the best possible airflow. Plus, cleaning or replacing these filters will help your system maintain fresher air, which is a big part of feeling comfortable when the heat outside becomes unbearable.
If you’re unsure where these filters are located or how to clean them, call Bob Jenson’s skilled technicians for a quick and affordable maintenance service. No matter how hot it is outside, they’ll get your system cleaned up quickly so you can go back to enjoying the cool air.
Reduce Direct Sunlight
Though the morning or afternoon sun may light up your yard in a beautiful way, it’ll also light up your home—with heat. The Sun can pass UV light thru older windows and heat up surfaces inside your home, raising the temperature. If your gone at work all day consider closing the blinds or drapes to block out light.
Think About Insulation
Your attic is probably the hottest part of your home during a heat wave and it’s the fastest way heat enters your home. Adding a thermal barrier like Blown-in Insulation to a minimum of 12″ or more (R-30) is both very affordable and effective in reducing the heat load in your home and can reduce air conditioning bills up to 20%! Bob Jenson A/C can help you find out what your home needs, call or contact for a free estimate!
A heat wave can strike at any time in San Diego, and these days, it can be costly. Follow this guide and keep your bills low and your family comfortable.