Window & Shading Strategies for Keeping Cool
It can quickly get expensive to run the air conditioner day in and day out during the warmer months. But by utilizing intelligent window and shading strategies and techniques, you can keep cool without the full cost.
Cool Shading Strategies for Spring
Air conditioning bill too high? Want to cut back on energy use and adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle? Interested in how to use nature to increase your comfort?
When you implement any of these shading and window strategies, you will see a drastic difference in your dependence on air conditioning. An air conditioner is a wonderful modern luxury, and it will work even better when combined with these more classic cooling techniques. The less you call on the services of your air conditioner, the less maintenance, repairs, and replacements are needed.
Shades, Blinds & Curtains
Fitting one of these options over your windows will offer comfort, savings, and style. These are very popular shading strategies for your home and windows, but it’s important that you choose an option that works for your home.
Choose light-colored window coverings in order to reflect the sun away from the home.
Ventilation is the “V” in HVAC. It’s so important to the heating and cooling process, yet is often an easily forgotten aspect of the HVAC acronym. Ventilation works alongside your cooling unit to produce healthy indoor air quality. Without ventilation you are likely breathing in re-circulated airborne contaminants that are not able to refresh.
You need to flush out the hot and bring in the cool breeze and ventilation will achieve just that. There are best practices when it comes to ventilation. If you have an attic you will want to consider adding a whole house fan to disrupt the collection of hot air in any space in your home. Vents and windows also play a key role in enjoying maximum ventilation benefits.
Seal Air Leaks
Ventilation is very important, but you don’t want warm air coming in on its own when you’re running the air conditioner. Sealed homes are more energy efficient homes because air isn’t leaking back and forth through the windows and doors.
Using caulk and weatherstripping to seal air leaks around your windows is known as weatherizing. Seal your windows to keep cool air in, and then ventilate to keep the air from getting stale and unhealthy. The key to comfort is having control over the flow and temperature of the air. Ensuring your windows are tight will unlock ultimate comfort. Also, consider upgrading thin or damaged windows with double-paned glass.
Fixing windows, doors, and air leaks will also help keep pests out. If you are using a window air conditioner, check the seal between the window frame and your unit. There should be no air movement around the air conditioner.
Keep in mind that sealing up air leaks around the home could cause ventilation problems for your home. After making any significant insulation improvements, consult with a professional HVAC contractor. In addition to mechanical ventilation improvements, you may also benefit from air cleaners, duct cleaning and sealing.
Intelligent and purposeful landscaping is a beautiful and practical way to utilize nature in order to increase your comfort and decrease your utility bills. Early spring is a great time to start planting trees and making landscaping improvements.
You don’t need to depend too heavily on your air conditioner when you have the help of well-placed shade trees and shrubs. Planting shade trees for the purpose of keeping cool is the perfect project for spring. Map out your ideas, speak with a landscape design specialist, HVAC technician or local climate specialist to strategize your shade.
You will want to pick the right species of tree for the climate, as well as take into account the shifting sun. Pick deciduous tree with broad leaves for shading and conifers for winter wind breakage. You will achieve different results depending on the height of the trees you plant and the location around the home. North, South, East and West — landscaping for HVAC savings must take into account the location and temperature of the morning to evening sun. Learn how to plant trees for energy savings!
Be careful, however, about planting anything too close to your outdoor HVAC unit. While shading the outdoor condenser unit can save you energy and reduce wear and tear, it’s important that no heavy limbs hover over the unit. Additionally grass and other plants can interfere with your HVAC efficiency by reducing airflow. Learn xeriscaping (dry landscaping) techniques for your outdoor unit.
Click here for more passive heating and cooling strategies.
HVAC Maintenance is Essential!
Even if you employ all of the window and shading strategies above, you will still need to use your air conditioning system occasionally. In order to keep HVAC manufacturer warranties in effect and prevent expensive repairs and replacements, bi-annual HVAC maintenance is essential. Schedule air conditioning maintenance in early spring and heating maintenance in early fall.
For the best deal on heating and cooling maintenance, we highly recommend signing up for a Maintenance Plan.
If you have any questions about your cooling system and how to save energy and money, speak with an HVAC specialist at Pacific Heating & Cooling.
We have the cooling solutions you need this spring and summer. Call for cooling services at any time — we’re here to help!
Since 1984, we’ve been proudly serving our communities in Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma, Gig Harbor, and the surrounding areas.