With the hot and humid climate of Southwest Florida, cooling costs are high enough without appliances and other heat sources adding to your energy costs. By taking steps to lower heat gain in your home, you can keep your cooling costs to a minimum and reduce your energy usage.
Use Exhaust Fans
Activities like cooking, washing dishes, washing clothes and bathing can release excess heat and humidity into the air. Turn on exhaust fans in the kitchen or bathroom when these activities are necessary, and avoid performing these tasks during the hottest parts of the day.
Minimize Appliance Use
Many appliances like dishwashers, irons, coffee pots and clothes dryers generate significant amounts of heat when used. Avoid using such appliances until it’s cooler, such as during the evening, and turn off heat-generating electronics and lights during the daytime. Computers, set-top boxes and game systems often produce significant amounts of heat. Also, turn your water heater down to 120 degrees to save energy and reduce heat gain, and replace incandescent light bulbs with cooler, more efficient LED or CFL bulbs.
Shade Your Windows
Southern and western windows can let in large amounts of heat from the sun during the daytime. Install curtains, blinds or shades on these windows and close them during the daytime to minimize solar gain. Open the windows during cooler times, like the evening, to allow natural ventilation. Another option is to install exterior awnings over the windows or to extend the roof to provide shade, while still allowing the windows to be opened.
Other steps that you can take to lower heat gain in your home include using trees and shrubs to shade your windows and air conditioner, using light-colored materials for roofing or siding, and sealing any holes or drafts in the exterior of your home.
For more tips to lower heat gain in your home, talk to our cooling experts at Conditioned Air. We serve Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples and beyond.