When the summer heat arrives in Sacramento, CA, it’s important to be ready for it. For many homeowners, this simply means adjusting the thermostat and waiting for the higher energy bills to roll in. However, there are a variety of ways to maintain your comfort indoors that don’t involve cranking up your AC. In addition, you can enlist a HVAC professional’s services to increase your system’s efficiency and reduce energy bills. If you use the right combination of tactics, you can get through the summer heat without it costing a fortune. To help you do that, here are eight great ways to maintain your comfort indoors during the summer.

1. Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Appointment

No matter what else you do to stay comfortable, you will be using your home’s HVAC in the summer. Since that’s true, it pays to make sure your HVAC is operating at peak efficiency. You can ensure this by scheduling an HVAC maintenance appointment before the cooling season begins.

During your maintenance appointment, an HVAC technician will clean your cooling system for maximum performance. They will also check the refrigerant levels and find any leaks or signs of damage in the lines. The visit also includes tightening loose electrical connections, lubricating moving parts, and ensuring your air conditioner drainage system works correctly. Before leaving, they will test your system controls and thermostat settings to ensure they are functioning properly and recalibrate them if necessary. The Department of Energy (DOE) suggests that homeowners can save 10% on energy bills by having annual maintenance performed on their HVAC systems.

2. Use Ceiling Fans

Although your HVAC will do most of the heavy lifting comfort-wise in the summer, there are ways to reduce your dependence on it. Installing and using ceiling fans is a great way to accomplish that. Using a ceiling fan can make you feel up to 4 degrees cooler than the temperature inside your home. This works because ceiling fans push air across your skin, carrying heat energy away with it.

Although the air temperature doesn’t change, this supercharges your body’s built-in cooling functionality. That means you can turn up your thermostat by 4 degrees without sacrificing comfort while your fans run. According to the Department of Energy, you’ll save 3% on your cooling costs for each degree above 72 you set your thermostat. This is an excellent tradeoff since ceiling fans use less electricity than your central air conditioning system.

3. Install Thermal Curtains

Another way you can stay comfortable in the summer is to install thermal curtains on your home’s windows. These are curtains specifically designed to block as much solar heat as possible when you close them. By closing your curtains in rooms that get strong sun, you can reduce the load on your HVAC. Solar gains through windows are a primary driver of your home’s indoor temperature. According to the Department of Energy, high-quality thermal curtains can reduce your home’s solar heat gains by up to 33%. That translates into more comfort and less energy use by your cooling system.

4. Install a Whole House Fan

Before central air conditioning became commonplace, many homeowners used large, whole-house fans to stay cool. You can still install such fans today, and they can significantly improve your comfort in the summer. A whole house fan works by pulling air up through your home and exhausting it through your attic. You can open your windows and run the fan during cooler evenings rather than use your air conditioning.

Additionally, during milder spring and fall days, you can run it during the day. A whole-house fan creates a nice breeze, and in many cases, you can stay comfortable without turning your air conditioner on when it’s as much as 85 degrees outside. Whole house fans are relatively cheap to run compared to air conditioners, which will translate into lower cooling costs. They also bring in fresh air from outside, increasing indoor air quality.

5. Install a Smart Thermostat

Another great way to stay comfortable in the summer is to install a smart thermostat in your home. A smart thermostat can take the weather and your behavior into account to reduce your overall HVAC demand. This helps you stay comfortable whenever you’re at home and maximize your savings when you’re not. According to Energystar, a smart thermostat certified by the program can save you up to 8% on your cooling costs.

6. Inspect and Repair Your Ductwork

You can also improve your comfort in the summer by having your home’s ductwork inspected and repaired. Estimates indicate that the average homeowner’s forced air system can waste up to 20% of conditioned air through leaks and gaps. Not only will this drive up your cooling costs, but it may also prevent your HVAC system from keeping you comfortable.

For example, a damaged section of ductwork might prevent proper airflow to parts of your home. That would result in uncomfortable hot and cold spots. It may also force you to adjust your thermostat to compensate, wasting even more energy in the process. Simple repairs like ductwork joint taping, rebalancing, and sealing can significantly reduce your monthly utility bill.

7. Upgrade Your Attic Insulation

Staying comfortable in the summer in your home is all about keeping heat out and cold air in. One of the most effective ways you can do that is to upgrade your home’s insulation. Adding additional insulation to your attic can prevent the loss of conditioned air from your home.

This can reduce the load on your HVAC system, preventing wear and tear that may result in expensive repair bills and increasing your home’s energy efficiency. Plus, upgrading your attic’s insulation is relatively easy. Professionals will often use blown-in insulation or batt insulation, depending on the attic’s layout and accessibility. Both methods are fast, economical, and effective.

8. Upgrade Your HVAC

Finally, if you have an older cooling system, the best way to maintain your home comfort while keeping energy bills under control is by upgrading your cooling system. With annual maintenance, the average lifespan of an air conditioner is 10 to 15 years. However, as they age, they become less efficient. Many experts agree that as an air conditioner reaches the end of its useful lifetime, it may become 50% less efficient than when you bought it.

There are a variety of advantages you get from a new HVAC. Newer HVAC systems offer superior comfort and higher efficiency through innovations like variable speed motors and integration with smart technology. Many also have built-in features to improve indoor air quality.

Contact the Pros

At Atticman Heating and Air Conditioning, Insulation, we have been serving the residents of Sacramento, CA, for years. We install, maintain, and repair heating and cooling systems. In addition, we offer insulation, ductwork, and whole-house fan installation services. We would also like to invite you to join our Cool Club maintenance program.

Members receive annual HVAC maintenance to keep their heating and cooling systems performing as they should. They also get discounts and priority service. Contact us to schedule an appoitment with one of our experienced team members today.

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