Shut that Door! And Other Top Summer Energy-Efficiency Tips
The heat is on in New Jersey, and despite that we are all giving our air-conditioning systems are serious workout, this may not be a time of year when you generally give much thought to energy efficiency. While most of us do take care not to leave windows and doors open while the air’s on (indeed, choruses of “Shut the door!” ring constantly through the homes of those of us with children), there are a number of other important steps you should take this summer to make your house energy efficient. Read on for our top summer energy-efficiency tips:
- Windows: Your windows should be closed AND locked to seal out hot, humid air. If your windows won’t stay tightly closed or feels drafty, it might be time to consider new windows. Today’s windows have energy-efficient features like low-E coatings, which reflect back some of the summer sun. You should also take care to keep blinds and curtains closed while the sun is shining. In the market for new window treatments? Consider thermal drapes, which block out the hot sun’s rays better than other types of curtains, keeping your home cooler and reducing the need for air conditioners. Read more about replacing your old windows with new windows here.
- Doors: Yes, they should stay closed unless someone is coming in or out, but also keep in mind that summer is a great time of year to make energy efficiency upgrades to your doors that will have an impact throughout the year. Inspect your door closely. Does it fit tightly to the frame? Are there drafts? Is the seal around your frame intact? Does the door itself have any damage, such dents or cracks? If your home’s doors have seen better days, this might be a good time to install new ones. Older doors are often poor insulators that are very prone to air leakage. Installing new windows and doors is one of the best ways to make your house more energy efficient. If your doors are still in good shape, consider applying weather stripping to the frame to help the cool air stay in and the hot air stay out. Read more about replacing your old doors with new doors here.
- Roofing and Siding: How can you make the exterior of your house more energy efficient? While it’s true that there’s not much you can do to make your existing roofing and siding more energy efficient, the summer is an excellent time to tackle exterior projects such as installing new roofing and siding. Technologies are improving constantly, so new roof and/or siding is virtually guaranteed to carry better energy-efficiency ratings and features than your current exterior can offer. We carry the most cutting-edge products in the business, from top names like GAF and James Hardie. And if you’re installing a new roof, this could be a great time to consider converting your home to solar energy, a move that can dramatically lower your utility bills.
- Air Conditioning: Use your air-conditioning system or units wisely. Set unit or system thermostats to the warmest temperature you can that still allows you level of comfort. At night, if the weather cools into the 70s or lower, turn off the AC for the night and open up your windows to let in the cool air. Use ceiling fans to cool off, too. They can help you feel more comfortable, even in warmer temps. Also, be sure to turn on bathroom fans when you shower or bathe—they’ll whisk away heat and humidity that can make your AC work harder. When you prepare meals, consider using the microwave or grill to heat your food (or prepare meals that can be served cold). Doing so will reduce the amount of heat in your home. Also, it’s very important to service your AC regularly, especially by changing out and/or cleaning filters when necessary. Above all, remember this energy-efficiency tip from energy.gov: “The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.”
If you’re considering making energy efficient upgrades to your home, we have options to fit every budget. Give us a call today at 973-927-0963 to find out how we can help make your home more energy efficient this summer!