Contrary to what you may think, cooling costs are not out of your control. Understanding how your cooling system works, you can create an energy-efficient plan to keep your cooling costs to an all-time low this A/C season.
Here are important steps to controlling your cooling costs.
Understand where your cooling energy is going. The Florida Solar Energy Center has created an easy-to-read pie chart illustrating a “rule of thumb” for cooling load distribution for the average residence:
- Windows – 30 percent
- Roof – 20 percent
- Appliances – 16 percent
- Duct gain – 12 percent
- Duct leaks – 10 percent
- Walls and infiltration – 12 percent
By evaluating these cooling load factors, you can see where your energy-efficient attention should be focused.
Create your plan. You may need to make certain replacements or modifications to reduce potential energy loss.
- Are your windows energy efficient? If you don’t have dual-paned, Low-e windows, replacements are in order.
- Is your home adequately insulated? Make sure your attic, crawl spaces and exterior wall insulation is the right R-value for Zones 1/2 on the Energy Star map. Your attic insulation will slow heat transfer between your living spaces in both summer and winter. Ducts running through the attic also should be insulated.
- Seal all leaks. In addition to ensuring that your “home envelope” is sealed, have your ducts inspected to verify they are sealed properly.
- Purchase energy-efficient appliances. Since cooling and heating accounts for up to half of your home’s energy consumption, it’s imperative that you purchase high-quality, energy-efficient air conditioning equipment to maximize your cooling costs.
- Duct design. Was your house built prior to the 1990s? If so, schedule an appointment with a licensed HVAC contractor and have your duct design inspected. The technician will perform precise calculations to verify your ducts are designed and operating efficiently. If not, modifications will provide proper air flow and reduce energy consumption.
- Routine maintenance. Regular maintenance ensures your HVAC systems are operating efficiently.
Please contact us at Robert R. McGill Air Conditioning Service, Inc. to discuss ways to reduce your cooling costs. We’ve provided quality services in South Florida since 1979.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Palm Beach County, Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Filed under: Air Conditioning
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