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Make Your Home Greener This Spring And Summer!

summer home efficiency massachusettsYour HVAC equipment accounts for nearly half the energy your home uses during peak months, including most of the summer. The good news, if you’re a conscientious energy user, is that there are ways to chip away at that number.

Whether it’s investing in super-efficient equipment, tweaking the way you use your thermostat, or just improving airflow, you can adopt simple ways to go green in your southeastern Massachusetts home.

Here are ten ways to get you started.

  1. Check air filters regularly – Check your filters about once a month, cleaning or replacing them (depending on the model) as needed. A clogged air filter can reduce A/C efficiency by 10 to 15 percent, and will eventually lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment.
  2. Keep an eye on your ductwork – Alternating cold and warm air will eventually strain seals on your ductwork – especially if it wasn’t installed correctly in the first place. Look for obvious air leaks in visible ducts, but remember: most of your ductwork is behind the walls, so consider a professional duct inspection about once every five years.
  3. Program your thermostat – With a central air conditioner, every degree you drop your thermostat below 75 degrees could cause you to use three to five percent more energy. The good news is that the reverse is also true. For the best balance of comfort and economy, shoot for a summertime indoor temperature of about 78 degrees.
  4. Change your window treatments – In the hot summer months, consider hanging window treatments that reflect rather than absorb light and heat (for more efficiency tips using window treatments, see the U.S. Department of Energy website).
  5. Keep your condensing unit out of the sun – Keeping your outdoor condensing unit out of the sun can reduce A/C costs by about two percent. Shade with a high overhang – never cover or block the airflow of your condensing unit!
  6. Keep vents clear – Make sure that vents in rooms you’re using are open and not blocked by furniture, rugs, or drapes.
  7. Mind the attic – Install an attic ventilator fan to draw cool air throughout the house. Adding insulation can also help keep cool air in and hot air out.
  8. Use your ceiling fans – Moving air feels cooler when you’re in the room, so turn on those ceiling fans when people are around – you’ll be able to keep temperatures a little warmer with no loss in comfort.
  9. Service your equipment – Your cooling equipment will lose about five percent efficiency every year that it’s not serviced – which means that professional cooling maintenance will basically pay for itself in lower cooling bills alone. It will also help keep your A/C running more reliably.
  10. When it’s time to upgrade, always choose an HVAC pro – Big box stores may seem like they’re giving you a good deal, but a qualified home cooling technician will do the little things that will help your system deliver value – and better performance – year after year. They’ll also know the ins and outs on tax credits, incentives, and manufacturer’s rebates, so they’ll be able to steer you in the direction of better deals on ENERGY STAR®-certified equipment. Look for HVAC pros that offer in-person evaluations – not just formulas – if you want to get the most energy bang for your buck.

Summer’s coming – is your A/C ready? Let the pros at W.H. Riley & Son help you to be sure. Contact us today to learn more about A/C installations and air conditioner maintenance in southeastern Massachusetts!