This time of year, Lower Mainland homeowners count their blessings to be living in such a temperate climate. Our comfortable spring temperatures allow us to open doors and windows, and enjoy the fresh air blowing throughout the house while we vacuum and spring clean.
But it won’t be long before we’re living with the much hotter weather, and if the previous years are any indication, it will be another hot one for us.
We’re only a month away from the first day of summer, and for many of us, that means a trip to White Rock beaches, outdoor concerts in Vancouver and parties in our Fraser Valley homes. It’s also an excellent opportunity to save energy and money in your home.
Think about your lighting. It makes up about 10% of your home electricity cost. Save up to 80% of that energy by just replacing any traditional incandescents. When it’s time for new lighting, or a new appliance, computer, TV, audio or video device, always look for the ENERGY STAR label before you buy. The dollars you spend upgrading to an energy-efficient product will pay off in lower electricity costs for years.
The evolution of LED technology, in particular, has opened the door to significant savings as replacements for traditional incandescent lighting, which is being phased out in B.C.
Take a good look at your window placement in your home and take advantage of natural cooling and heating. Try this tip. In the morning, while you’re making your coffee or tea, first cool off the entire house by opening all windows and drapery or blinds. The fresh air will enter and while you’re getting ready for work, will bring the interior temperatures down. If you’re still home for awhile, let the cooling continue until around 9 or 10 am, when the temperatures begin to rise. If not, close off all the windows and window coverings before your leave, mainly south facing ones, that can raise the indoor temperatures significantly.
If you have horizontal blinds, you want to reversely adjust the louvers to reflect back into the outside so that no radiant heat enters into the home. (Do the opposite in the fall and winter to add natural solar gain).
Another tip for single-family homeowners is to open the attic hatch during hot weather to allow the warm temperatures of the living space to enter the attic. We tend to lock our hot air in, but when we open the hatch, the hot air moves quickly! Nature abhors a vacuum, so the colder air below the living space will be forced into that area, making the living area lower its temperature considerably.
Who thinks about landscaping when it comes to home comfort and cost savings? Well, you should! Those sizeable 18th-century plantation homes in the American South taught us a lesson. Their long rows of oak trees and plantings kept the houses cool during the sweltering weather by funneling colder air towards the home. If you’re planning landscaping changes, always consider planting trees, shrubs, and plants strategically to reduce heat radiation and cool the air before it reaches your home’s walls and windows.
Reduce your heat in the kitchen. Avoid using the oven in summer – try salads, smoothies or barbecue. You’ll reduce the temperature in your home and save on your home cooling costs.
These natural and straightforward tips will help reduce energy or improve comfort whether you have a central air conditioner or not.
We spend a lot of time in our homes, and comfort during heat waves are essential to our well-being and health. Many of us have trouble sleeping in the summer or have hot and cold spots throughout our home.
Switching to a high-efficiency air conditioner can reduce your energy by 20-50% and save money. Many contractors recommend lower SEER (13 SEER) equipment, however, buying a variable speed compressor will offer the homeowner significant cost savings both in their energy usage and longevity compared to traditional equipment.
Variable-capacity air conditioning and heat pump systems are controlled differently than single and two-stage systems. Instead of cycling on at full capacity and cycling off when the thermostat reaches its designated temperature, these units operate according to the heating and cooling load conditions of the home.
The heating or cooling “load” refers to the amount of heat energy that would need to be added or removed from a space to maintain its desired comfort level.
The efficiency of an air conditioner is directly related to the type of compressor and circuit control drive it uses. The compressor is the heart of the system; vital in ensuring that the entire system runs smoothly and efficiently. Variable-capacity systems are unique in that they use variable-speed compressors which modulate in increments of 1% and fractions of a percent.
Variable-capacity air conditioning systems are the wave of the future. They will become the standard, eventually replacing single-stage system altogether.
In the end, things to consider are your budget, what you are looking for in terms of comfort, efficiency, and noise levels.
For over 60 years and three generations, Gandy Installations has been proudly serving the Fraser Valley area for their residential and commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning needs. They stake their reputation on the thousands of happy customers who trust the folks at Gandy to put their family’s comfort first.
Remember — we’re here for you literally 24 hrs — 365 days a year. If you have any questions about how your home can be cool and comfortable this summer, or any home comfort related question, give the friendly folks at Gandy a call at 604-543-5555 or contact us at our website, gandyinstallations.net