Now that we are in the dog days of summer, there are a few things to consider to get the most out of your air conditioning system. Here in the Sarasota-Bradenton area we are finding out that there are many things that can be done to allow your air conditioning system to run more efficiently and keep you more comfortable.
When thinking about air conditioning, one often only thinks about the mechanical device itself, but when you break down the meaning of air conditioning, it is simply the conditioning of air. One thing that drastically affects the “condition” of your air is insulation. There seems to be a mindset that insulation is more important in cooler climates to keep the cold out, on the contrary, insulation is just as effective in the summer to keep the heat out. As the temperature soars, the heat penetrating your home can be quite intense; insulation essentially acts as a barrier to prevent that heat from getting in. We have recorded attic temperatures of 130-145 degrees, in some Florida homes. Without proper attic insulation you are essentially allowing that heat to radiate into your home through the ceiling, adversely affecting the condition of your air.
The air filter is by far the easiest thing that any home owner can do to help keep cooling costs down. Keeping a clean air filter, in your air conditioner, can reduce your energy usage by up to 15 percent. We recommend running a pleated type filter, as they provide adequate filtration without restricting airflow. Beware of the washable type filters; they tend to restrict airflow even with small amount of dirt on them.
It may seem strange, but something as simple as window treatments can also aid in the effectiveness of your air conditioning. An easy way to prevent heat gain in your home is to add blinds, drapes, awnings or some sort of window film. On hot days closed blinds or drapes can reduce heat gain by up to 45%. Blinds and drapes are most effective when they are made of lighter shade materials. Fixed or retractable awnings can be installed, which can reduce heat gain by between 65 and 75 percent. Window films or tint are available in a variety of beneficial shades and materials. 3M makes window film that can reject up to 71% of the heat coming through your windows.
Your air conditioning costs can be greatly reduced and your overall comfort can be increased by considering one or more of the above options.