There are many ways to maximize the energy efficiency of your own home during the long, hot Texas summer, and here are 6 tips to summer-proof your home and keep your house cool and safe.
- Seal off any gaps inside and outside your home.It’s important to ensure all your doors are properly weather stripped and adjusted to maintain a tight fit when closed in order to keep cool air from escaping. This can also help prevent water from seeping in when it rains. It’s also important to seal any cracks on your home’s exterior, including around windows, doors, water lines and around your air conditioning unit.
- Keep your soil consistent in drought conditions.In order to avoid extremes in your soil during the hot summer months, keep the moisture content of soils consistent around the foundation of your home, especially during drought conditions. This will help protect the integrity of the foundation.
- Add proper insulation to your attic and walls.This can be the priciest way to ensure your home stays cool in the summer, but insulating your home will provide the best results. Spraying the attic deck with open cell foam insulation and a fiberglass bib insulation package on the exterior walls is an extremely air tight, upgraded insulation package and provides for a well-insulated home. Another less expensive upgrade option is to use R-38 blown in the attic with fiberglass bib insulation on the exterior walls. Couple either of these insulation packages with vinyl windows and you will have a very good thermal envelope.
- Block out the heat with energy efficient windows.The best solution is to replace your old, thin windows with vinyl windows with Low E tinted, double pane glass. If this option is over your budget, applying window film to your existing windows can reflect much of the sun’s heat.
- Add passive design strategies to your outdoors.Passive design allows you to reduce the energy demand in your home without having to add new technology. You can lighten the load on your AC by designing your home with plenty of shade trees, overhangs and covered patios. All of these options will promote shade and protection from the elements. If you are considering building your own custom home, placing your home on the lot with the least amount of window square footage exposed to the west will help reduce cooling costs. Investing in solar screens and blinds are things that can be done too.
- Keep your air conditioner maintained.You want your air conditioner to run at its peak efficiency during the hottest summer months, so it’s a good idea to have your HVAC inspected annually in the spring in order to ensure proper coolant levels are maintained. Of course you always want to make sure that your HVAC filters are replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Apply these summer-proofing tips to your home and you can beat the Texas heat, plus save big on your energy bills!