Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is Your Home "Energy Ready" for summer?

     Are you ready for hot weather? I don't mean running out a buying a swimming pool or swim wear. This means making sure your air conditioning system is ready to deliver cool air on hot days. Most of the things are easy DIY things that wont cost you and arm and a leg.
     First: Change your filters in your heating/cooling system. You would think this would be a given but I have known folks that have not changed their filters in a couple of years! Change them at least twice a year and if you live in dusty or rural areas change them four times a year. Quick, easy, and cheap.
      Next, change your thermostat over to 'cool' and test the system by turning the temperature down. If the air conditioner does not run, check your breakers. If it still does not come on, call your heating and cooling professional. If your system does turn on, make sure it putting out an adequate amount of cool air. Then, set your thermostat to your desired setting, or program it to perform at your comfort level. Setting it at 73 - 76 degrees in the summer will keep your cooling bills easier to swallow. But bottom line it is all about personal comfort.
     On the subject of thermostats.Now would be a good time to install a programmable thermostat if you do not have one. You can save up to $100 a year using a new programmable set-back thermostat.
     Now, if your air conditioner is 15 years old or older then you might think about replacing it with a higher efficiency model to save money and insure a trouble free summer for many years. The older our air conditioners get, they lose efficiency and even if you bought a high efficient model back in the day, it has lost a good measure of efficiency over time. The key is, DO IT NOW before it gets blazing hot in the summer because your heating and cooling professionals will be very busy when it gets hot. They will want to check your insulation and duct work in your hot attic, look at your windows, and other things to evaluate what system is going to be best for your home.  Also air conditioners never go out in the winter do they? They always go out in July or August here in the Treasure Valley of Idaho.
     Finally, don't be afraid to install ceiling fans in your home, especially if you have vaulted or high ceilings. I know they are not 'sheek' and decorators hate them and feel they don't go with your decor. But lets face it, we don't buy them because they are hip and fashion forward. We buy them because they move air, help conserve energy,  and keep us more comfortable at higher room temperatures.
@comfortguyjerry says all of these things will keep your home 'energy smart' for the summer. For more information check our website at