With the Southern Utah heat beating down, it is easy to rack up a large energy bill when running air conditioning in a home, but some weatherization improvements to a home can cut costs in more way than one.
As temperatures continue to be in the mid-90s and are on the rise, some homeowners may feel an air conditioner is their only way to beat the heat; however, making improvements on seals, insulation and windows can help cool down a home.
Doug Carlson, the director for the weatherization program with the Five County Association of Governments, said there is no particular time people should start weatherizing their home. Although, as seasons change, there are some different options people can use to accommodate the weather.
“Probably the No. 1 thing is insulation,” Carlson said.
Richard Knaub, project leader in weatherization and workforce development at the National Renewable Energy laboratory, said it will take more energy to maintain a comfortable temperature if there is a large difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures.
“Adding insulation between the indoors and the outdoors reduces the energy demand,” Knaub said. “Depending on where you live, the savings from insulating your walls and the attic could be almost double the savings of air sealing.”
Carlson said keeping drapes and blinds shut during the day will oftentimes help keep a home cool enough that an air-conditioning unit doesn’t have to run as long.
“The next thing would be to do air sealing: put weather stripping around doors,” Carlson said. “During the summer and hotter months, put a sun screen up or tint on the windows to keep the heat from coming into the windows.”
According to Utah Clean Energy, a nonprofit organization promoting clean energy, cleaning or replacing air conditioning cooling filters monthly will also save money on energy costs.
Carlson said utility rates fluctuate, and if rates go up, it may not seem like homeowners are saving money; however, homeowners would be reducing their energy burden.