One way to maximize the efficiency of your AC system is to keep your heated or cooled air inside where it belongs. When you were a child if your parents ever said “close the door, we’re not heating the outside” that means that creating a tight seal in your home keeps you from doing exactly that: heating the outside.
Your heat is leaking right out through cracks and crevices making your AC system cycle longer to maintain room temperature and also uses more energy resulting in higher monthly utility bills. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your warm or cool air stays right where it belongs.
Seal Air Leaks
This one step makes a big difference in keeping your home warmer or cooler. Weather stripping around windows and doors stop leaks that occur where there are small cracks or gaps. Larger gaps in the framework of wooden door s can be sealed with silicone or foam caulking.
Check Insulation Levels
Insulation levels also apply to air conditioning needs. Insulation provides a barrier that keeps hot air from leaking in and making your system work harder to remove the humidity. Insulation in your attic should reach the tops of your floor joists to be efficient. If it is low you will need to add a few inches to the existing levels to make it adequate.
Upgrade to New Windows
Double-paned windows are the most efficient at reducing heat transfer and stopping air leaks, but may not be an economical choice for everyone. If new windows are not in your budget you can still minimize the amount of hot or cold air that transfers through them. In the winter time, cover windows with a heavy curtain at night to keep cold air out, and in the summer cover them during the day to keep heat out. You can also invest in window cling film that blocks heat and provides privacy for windows without curtains or shades.
Seal Drafts
Underneath doors is another source of drafts. The little brush assembly that is attached at the bottom of the door is meant to keep out drafts but, if that is missing as it may be in some older homes, you can buy a draft stopper that does the same job. A draft stopper is a roll of material that fits across the bottom of the door to stop air leaks.
Stopping air leaks goes a long way towards making your system run more efficiently. Using a programmable thermostat, blocking leaks and keeping your heating and cooling system in top shape will keep it working as efficiently as possible for a very long time.