When it is cold, you can try making yourselves comfortable with some heating, warm clothes, rugs, blankets, and the like in the Bay Area. But when you are right in the middle of summer and the house is hot and humid, there is very less you can do but have your HVAC system cooling the house day and night.
This obviously results in high energy usage which gets reflected in your monthly utility bills. Although having a cool and comfortable home is crucial, your air conditioning can only do so much.
There are certain ideas that can help keep your house cool without overusing the air conditioner, and conserve energy at the same time.
1. Block out the sunlight
Your house will certainly feel fresh and bright with all the sunlight pouring in, but this will also heat up the rooms more. Draw the curtains or blinds closed to block the harsh sunlight that might be directly entering your house. This will keep the rooms cool even when the AC is not in use.
2. Plant trees
This may be complicated depending on where you stay and how much area you have but planting shade trees around the house can make a huge difference to indoor temperature.
3. Invest in Good Insulation and Seal Leaks
Any conditioned air that is getting lost to the environment due to leaks in the ductwork or due to cracks in doorways and windows, is costing you more energy as the AC unit has to work harder to compensate for the energy and temperature loss. Pay special attention to insulation of the attic and walls.
4. Use Smart Thermostats
Programmable thermostats help save a lot of energy by switching On and Off according to a pre-decided schedule. These ensure that your AC unit does not run for no reason, like when nobody is in the room or at nights when it is not as hot as the daytime.
5. Replace Air Filters
Dirty air filters not only circulate bad air around the house, they also spoil your HVAC system. Get your air filters cleaned or replaced before the summers so that clean, conditioned air can flow smoothly into the house.
6. Use Ceiling Fans
It is not necessary to constantly have your AC unit running. Ceiling fans are also a good way to keep rooms cool and the air flowing around. Choose ceiling fans that are designed for higher airflow efficiency so that you can get the maximum output without using too much energy.
7. Allow Indoor Air Flow
Allow cool air to flow freely around the house. Otherwise, your air conditioning unit will have to work harder to cool the hot zones of the house.
8. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular preventive maintenance will keep your HVAC system in top shape, giving you smooth flowing cool air without any energy wastage. Get trained technicians to clean and inspect your system before the summers so that you do not have to put up with any sudden malfunctions, expensive repairs, or replacements during the hot months.