5 Strategies for Lowering Your Energy Bills and Staying Cool This Summer

residential heating and cooling silicon valley
July 2, 2015

With summer in full swing, home energy use in the Silicon Valley is skyrocketing. Apply these 5 strategies to help keep your home comfortable and your energy bills low during the hottest months of the year, so your air conditioners don't have to work overtime.

1. Keep the Sun Out

Although we typically use window treatments to promote privacy or improve aesthetics, they are very effective in keeping out direct sunlight. Identify which rooms get the most direct sunlight during the hottest months of the year (often the east- and west-facing rooms). Install and use white or light-colored shades for the windows and keep them lowered to avoid unwanted solar heat gains.

2. Upgrade Your Air Conditioner

In recent years, central air and window units have made significant efficiency gains. If your Santa Clara County home is well insulated and sealed, upgrading your air conditioner to a more efficient model can be a great step for lowering your electric bills. If energy efficiency is a top goal for you, let us know and we can help you select a cooling system that meets your goals.

3. Avoid Generating Heat Inside

During hot summer days, try to be strategic about minimizing activities that generate a lot of heat inside your home. Use your oven infrequently and load it up when you do. Consider washing your clothes in cold water and turning down your hot water heater a bit if it is located in your living space. Avoid using halogen or incandescent light bulbs, or replace them with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs.

4. Identify Inefficiencies with an Energy Audit

Many houses leak a lot of cooler (or "conditioned") air to the outside and have thermal bridges, an area of the home in which heat is drawn out by breaks in a thermal barrier, such as gaps in insulation. These inefficiencies impact both your heating and cooling bills. At Residential Heating and Air Conditioning, we have a team of certified energy experts who help cut your fuel bills by identifying leaks, gaps, and inefficiencies. [Needs mention/explanation of energy audit]

5. Prioritize an Uncomfortably Hot Room

Most Santa Clara Valley homes have uneven temperatures, an issue that negatively affects your overall comfort and causes your cooling system to work harder to compensate. Poorly insulated rooms, south-facing spaces, rooms with malfunctioning ducts, or rooms that are far from the HVAC system are likely trouble spots. Targeting these areas with improved insulation, upgraded windows, air sealing or duct sealing can significantly improve the comfort of your whole house.