The first day of summer is June 21st and with it comes long, sun-lit days and warm weather. Just as with the onset of winter, there are simple things you or a professional can do to ensure your Menlo Park home (or whatever wonderful Silicon Valley city you live in) is operating efficiently, saving your money and keeping you comfortable.
What You Can Do
- Check attics, doors and windows for air leaks and seal with weather stripping, caulking, expandable foam or insulation strips.
- Install Energy Star-certified ceiling fans. Fans make a space feel cooler, minimizing or eliminating the need for air conditioning. To save money, be sure to turn off fans when the room is not in use.
- Install shades, awning and sunscreens on west and south-facing windows. These will block the sun during the heat of the day, keeping your home cooler.
- Plant leafy shade trees on south and west-facing sides of your home. These provide cooling shade, especially when coupled with window shades and awnings.
- Clean or change your air conditioning unit filters. Dirty filters restrict the flow of air, increasing energy usage.
What A Pro Can Do
- Insulate walls and/or attics spaces as recommended based on your climate zone. Insulation saves energy and can dramatically increase the comfort level of your home during both warm and cold weather.
- Install a programmable or smart thermometer. These auto-adjust based on your schedule, again saving you money. To balance comfort and maximize energy efficiency, set your thermostat to 78 degrees while home and 85 degrees while you’re away.
- Consider upgrading to a cool roof. These are light in color and reflect the heat versus absorbing and radiating it inside your home.
- Clean and inspect your AC system to ensure it is operating efficiently and to minimize repairs.
- If your air conditioning unit is 10 years or older or requires repairs, consider replacing it with an Energy Star-rated unit. These are at least 15% more efficient, providing both comfort and cost savings.
Click here for more no-cost, low-cost and other helpful warm weather tips from PG&E.