It feels like summer almost all year long in Florida. Temperatures stay over 80 degrees for much of the year, and with the added humidity, not even nighttime can bring relief. So, if you are like most people in Florida, you rely on your air conditioning system to keep your home cool and comfortable during the hot months. Running any system for long periods takes its toll. There are also utility costs to consider. That is why it is very important to find cost-effective ways to contend with the heat in Florida.
Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, try these cost-effective ways to survive Florida summers.
Use Attic Fans
Attic temperatures in summer are often far above what you can stand comfortably. All that trapped heat can raise the temperature in your home and make you air conditioning system run longer. By installing an attic fan, you can pull all that hot air out of your attic. Your air conditioner won’t have to work as long, and the rooms on the upper floor will feel more comfortable. Attic fans in addition to sufficient insulation will help to improve overall efficiency. Attic fans will also help reduce humidity.
Trap the Cool Air
Another cost-effective way to get your home ready for the long Florida summer is to trap the cool air. You want to do what you can to reduce loss of conditioned air. Do this by keeping your windows closed and making sure they are well-sealed. A little caulk and weatherstripping can go a long way in helping to ensure that the cooled air in your home is not lost. Proper sealing also prevents unwanted warmer air from entering your home.
Effective window treatments such as blinds, shutters, shades, and certain kinds of curtains can do much to keep the heat out. It is important to keep these closed for them to be effective. Awnings can reduce as much 77% of solar heat gain. Window treatments are primarily quick and inexpensive solutions to reducing solar heat gain.
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans keep you cool by creating a wind chill effect. Ceiling fans do no actual provide cooling, but instead, help to circulate already cooled air. Therefore you will still use your air conditioner, but you will be able to use higher thermostat settings with the fan providing supplemental cooling. Being able to increase the thermostat setting is very important, as doing so enables you to save energy. Fans also circulate warm air during the cold months. Set the blades to rotate in an anti-clockwise direction during the hot months, and in a clockwise direction during the cooler months to take advantage of this energy-saving option.
Use Your Thermostat Correctly
Many users either leave their thermostats on one setting during the summer or constantly make adjustments in order to feel more comfortable. Recommended settings help to ensure more efficient use of your system in order to avoid energy waste. Essentially you will set your thermostat based on your activity levels over the course of a typical day. There is one setting for when you wake up, one for when you are away for eight hours or more, one for when you return home, and one for when you are asleep. Whether you have a manual or programmable thermostat, observing these guidelines will make a difference on your energy bill. Your setting will vary somewhat based on your comfort level, but this method will still go a long way toward more efficient use of your system.
Regular Maintenance Is Important
One of the most cost-effective ways to survive the hot months in Florida is with regular maintenance of your air conditioning system. You can change or clean the filters regularly as specified, but for more detailed maintenance it is advisable to have a professional examine your system at least once per year. Your HVAC technician will examine all parts of the system to ensure everything is in good working order, and will service, repair, or replace where necessary. Professionals can also spot small problems before they turn into large ones, and save you money in the long run.
For more cost-effective ways to cool your Sarasota-area home, call the experts at All American Heating & Cooling at (941) 479-6060. We offer HVAC maintenance plans and affordable cooling solutions to ensure your system efficiently stands up to the Florida heat.
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