The weather in Oak Ridge, Tennessee is sunny and beautiful in spring and summer. Unfortunately, all those warm days can force you to use your air conditioner more, increasing your utility bills. The increased wear on your HVAC system could shorten its life and cause inconvenient, expensive breakdowns as well. Conserving energy will help keep your air conditioner working smoothly, save money, and improve the environment by reducing pollution. You can save energy by using ceiling fans, adding insulation, controlling your home’s humidity, and maintaining your HVAC system.
Using Ceiling Fans
Using ceiling fans in your living room and bedrooms will circulate the air, creating cooling breezes. Ceiling fans come in many different styles, and most have overhead lights built in. A few ceiling fans can increase the value of your home by making it more attractive, fashionable, and comfortable. They also let you set your thermostat to a higher temperature and save energy while keeping yourself and your family comfortable. To conserve the most power, remember to turn off ceiling fans in empty rooms.
In winter, you can reverse your ceiling fans to push warm air from near the ceiling down towards the floor. This makes people feel warmer by moving the air without causing a breeze. In fall, change the direction of your fans from counterclockwise to clockwise by adjusting a small switch near the middle of each fan. Depending on their locations, you may need to climb a ladder or stepladder.
Leaks or gaps in your home’s insulation can allow cool air to escape in spring and summer, increasing your utility bills. They can also let fungi, dirt, dust, and pollen into your home. These pollutants lower your indoor air quality, and they can lead to health issues like sinus problems, eye irritation, headaches, rashes, and fatigue. Check the insulation in your attic or basement for gaps or bacterial growth. Some types of insulation can settle and become less effective over time, so your home’s insulation could need a replacement or an extensive upgrade.
You should also add weatherstripping to doors and windows and make sure your curtains are closed on warm days. To find the sources of warm areas or drafts, turn off your HVAC system. Then, use a candle or a stick of incense to look for drafts and leaks near windows and doors.
Controlling Your Home’s Humidity
If your home’s humidity is too high, you and your family could feel hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable. Lots of moisture in the air keeps sweat from evaporating from your skin as quickly as it would in a drier environment. Controlling the humidity in your home will make everyone feel cooler, save energy, and reduce microbial growth. Use a humidity monitor, also called a hygrometer, to make sure the air in your home isn’t too moist or too dry. Many thermostats include them.
You can use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from your indoor air. Have a whole-home dehumidifier installed in your ductwork by a professional, or choose a more affordable portable model that can dehumidify one or two rooms at a time. You should also watch for leaks in your plumbing or your water heater and have them repaired as soon as possible. Use exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms to remove humid air caused by cooking and showering.
Maintaining Your HVAC System
Have your HVAC system checked by one of the professionals at Cook’s Comfort Systems at least once per year to find and repair problems that could waste energy or become more severe over time. For example, leaks in your ductwork could let conditioned air escape before it can reach your bedrooms or living room. You should also change your HVAC system’s air filter at least every three months. A clogged filter can reduce your system’s airflow and force it to work harder.
Cook’s Comfort Systems, Inc. is a Trane Comfort Specialist with more than 25 years of HVAC experience. We can help you save energy by maintaining, repairing, and installing a variety of heating and cooling equipment. Call us anytime at 865-248-5001 for honest, quality service.
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