Warm temperatures in the 80s are already here so the cooling load handled by your air conditioner is going up. You want your air conditioner to run without excessive energy use, and one way to avoid runaway energy bills is to cut your home’s cooling load. What’s a cooling load? It is the amount of energy (heat) needed to be removed to keep your home comfortable.
You should start by reducing the amount of heat coming into your home so your system doesn’t have to remove that heat. Closing your blinds or curtains in East and West facing rooms prevents heat gain inside from the sun. Scheduling your baking or oven-related cooking for the cooler parts of the day will help, as well as cooking outside on the grill frequently. Also, check for leaks in your duct work to make sure the cool air is getting to the warmest rooms. Finally, check around windows and doors where air leaks may be easier to spot to see if you feel warm air being drawn into the house through cracks.
A second level of cutting the cooling load can come from home improvement projects, especially concerning insulation. Spaces without proper insulation, like an attic, can really get hot in the summertime. When some of that heat transfers into your living area it increases the cooling load on your system and causes it to run longer. Older windows can cause large energy losses, but newer windows are available with energy efficient features which reduce the amount of heat gain (or loss) in from the sun’s rays. Replacement requires money upfront, but that cost can be recovered in a few years from the energy savings. If you have dark shingles which soak up a lot of extra heat, consider installing lighter colored shingles when replacement is needed.
Cutting your cooling load will reduce the running time of your air conditioning system, allow indoor temperatures to remain comfortable without frequent starting-stopping of the system, and will reduce excessive energy usage. Shorter running times can make a solid difference in the number of remaining years of life for your air conditioning equipment.
For more information about cutting your home’s cooling load, call us! T.A. Kaiser can provide you with the best solutions to lower your home’s energy usage and prolonging the life of your HVAC equipment.