Stay Cool, Calm And Collected With These Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips

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Air conditioning isn't just a luxury for those who live in the Southern USA; it's a vital way to stay cool when temperatures break into the triple digits. While it is possible to live without it, it can be risky, especially in areas like New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. Although cooling your environment can seem expensive at first, there are plenty of ways to ensure better conditioning efficiency all throughout warm weather. Read on to find out the best ways Americans are boosting their AC efficiency all throughout the lower states.

Think Like a Vampire

The light...it burns!

While sunlight is a very necessary part of everyday health, allowing too much sun into your home can foil your cooling plans. 

Using blackout drapes in just one room of your home can help to keep it ultra-cool, ensuring that you have a place to escape to all day long. 

Tip: Blackout drapes don't necessarily have to be black, Try a deep wine red, dark pink, navy blue or basic brown shade for best results.

Be an Efficiency Professional by Choosing ENERGY STAR® Appliances

Energystar.gov has a lot to say about the ENERGY STAR® rating system. The required levels for this labeling program are very high, and they are monitored by U.S. government agencies. The program ensures that a wide variety of electronics and appliances are able to function at an extremely efficient level. This means that they use as little power as possible to provide you with the results you desire.

With verification behind them, air conditioners that feature this label are far more efficient out of the box than older used models.

Note: This is not to be confused with Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER); SEER is required for any air conditioner to be sold on the modern market. The U.S. Government requires all models--regardless of BTUs--to maintain a SEER rating of at least 13. ENERGY STAR® maintains a higher efficiency level than SEER alone.

Whether you're having a device installed by professionals or you are installing one on your own, selecting an ENERGY STAR® model can help you to lower your costs and protect the environment over time.

Have a Check-Up Twice Per Year

While this tip applies to humans, too, air conditioners also require bi-yearly checkups to ensure that they are in the right working order. Make sure that you schedule a maintenance call in early spring and late fall.

This will help you to spot problems before they become serious, and may even prevent a catastrophic failure in the middle of a heat wave. Depending on your device, you may also have to have it recharged periodically, too; bi-yearly is usually adequate for most needs.

If problems are found, you'll be able to stay on top of them or replace the device before hot weather hits.

Humidity Isn't Just the Enemy of Curly Hair

Humidity plays a huge role in temperature, and it can totally change how the temperature feels inside your home. The higher the humidity, the hotter your home will feel. While you don't want to strip all of the moisture out of the air, running a dehumidifier on the hottest days can help to ensure that your home stays comfortable.

In some cases, it's not even necessary to use it in every single room. If reducing your energy costs is an important goal for you, consider only using one in the most moisture-prone rooms. The basement or the bathroom are both common areas to experience this type of problem.

Note: Having a bathroom fan on when you shower can help to combat this, too. However, you do need to be careful that fans don't strip off too much cool air.

Don't Get Fan-cy Too Often

While bathroom and kitchen exhausts are great when you need to  let air out quickly, they can actually reduce the efficiency of your AC. Even though these are designed to blow in a single direction, they can allow cool air to escape too quickly.

What this means for your comfort is that your air conditioner needs to work harder to maintain cooler temperatures. Depending on how many fans you're using--or if you happen to be using window fans--you may not even be able to achieve the low temperature you desire.

Anyone who remembers their mother or father shouting "shut the front door!" after they came in from playing will understand. Simply put, by creating entrances or exits where heat can escape or enter the home, you're effectively trying to cool the great outdoors.

So seal up your home whenever possible.

Tip: Avoiding drafts is important, too, so check around windows and doors for leaks. Have a home renovation specialist fix these if you can feel any air coming through.

Staying efficient isn't just about protecting the environment, although ecological balance is an important factor behind today's ENERGY STAR® labeling. It can also help you to save money over time because your AC doesn't need to do as much work to keep you cool. For questions about these tips or to learn more about how your HVAC system can work best for your needs, contact an air conditioning specialist today or click here.

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11 November 2014

Adding a Man Cave to Your Home: Tips

I have always loved baseball, and when the world series arrives each year, I enjoy inviting my friends over to watch the games. As our family grew, it became difficult for all of our guests to fit in our living room. We decided that we needed a dedicated "man cave" in our home, but we didn't have an extra room to build it in. We thought long and hard about how we could add it, but we finally decided to turn our garage into the man cave and have a carport built onto our home to park our cars under. I have always been interested in learning more handy-work, so I enjoyed watching the contractors build both the man cave and car port. I thought I would start a blog to share what I learned during the building process to help other homeowners!