Prepare your New Home for Summer
Long, hot days are just around the corner, and you want to make sure your home is ready to handle the heat. If you have recently moved or are planning to move, you may not have yet considered how your home will fare this summer.
You will definitely benefit by preparing your new home for warm weather, and there are a few things you can do now that will help make the transition comfortable. Below are four ways to get your new home ready for summer.
Seal Windows and Doors
Most homeowners realize that windows and doors readily permit cool air to escape, if they aren't properly sealed around the edges. However, the problem may be greater than you think, since around one-third of your home's cooled air can be lost through leakage in these vulnerable spots.
That's why you should take time to evaluate windows and doors to ensure they are adequately sealed against air loss. Weather-stripping should be inspected and replaced if it is hard, brittle or cracked. For areas where weather-stripping is difficult to install, silicone caulk can provide protection against leaks.
In addition, be sure to seal wide gaps with expanding foam. Available in easy-to-use spray cans, expanding foam can provide maximum protection for wide-open areas around doors and windows.
Perform an Air Conditioning System Tune-Up
Your new home's air conditioning system is likely to be heavily used this summer, so you want to be sure it is capable of withstanding the load placed upon it. That's why you should contact a professional to perform a thorough system inspection and tune-up.
In particular, you will want to ensure that your air conditioner's heat-transferring components, the evaporator and condenser, are well-cleaned. Dust, dirt and other debris can prevent an efficient transfer of heat from your home, which makes your system less effective and efficient.
In addition, be sure that all air filters are changed regularly during the course of the summer. Clean filters allow for better air flow and also prevent stress on your system. Ultimately, the relatively low amount you invest in air filters will save you money in reduced energy costs and longer equipment lifespans.
Enhance Attic and Crawlspace Insulation
Insulation is vital for preventing heat from entering your home and for keeping cooled air inside. You will want to take a closer look at your attic and crawlspace, if applicable, to ensure these areas are well-insulated.
Many heat and air companies offer no-cost insulation inspections, so you will want to consult a professional to get their advice.
Install LED Bulbs and Fixtures
Many people don't realize just how much heat an incandescent bulb can produce, but the reality is that only a little over two percent of the energy used by a traditional bulb is in the form of light. That means a home full of incandescent bulbs produces a fairly large amount of heat that must be overcome by an air conditioner during summer.
You can greatly reduce this heat load by replacing existing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. These solid-state devices convert the majority of electrical energy to light and give off very little heat relative to older lighting technologies. Not only can you save money on your electric bill, LED lights often will last for decades and will reduce your need to frequently replace bulbs.