Excess moisture in your home can lead to increased humidity, which makes a hot day even more uncomfortable and has negative health effects. By taking steps to control moisture in your Southwest Florida home, you can keep your cooling costs to a minimum while also protecting the health of your family.
Maintain Your Air Conditioning System
One of the major jobs of an air conditioning system is dehumidification. As it cools the air, it also removes moisture from it. And if your system isn’t running properly, it will not dehumidify effectively. Have your air conditioning system inspected by a professional at least once a year to make sure it’s running properly and efficiently. Between visits, make sure that you change the air filter every few months to keep it operating well.
Size Your System Properly
If your air conditioning system is oversized for your home, it will cycle on and off frequently, not giving it enough time to properly dehumidify. An undersized system may not be able to process the volume of air necessary to remove moisture properly. When installing an air conditioning system, make sure that it is sized properly for your home, using the proper Manual J procedures instead of general square-foot estimates.
When you are cooking, bathing, washing dishes, washing clothes or doing other activities that add humidity to the air, use exhaust fans to draw out any excess moisture. If moisture is still a problem, consider installing a separate dehumidification system.
Keep Appliances Maintained
Natural gas or propane appliances can add moisture to the air, especially if they aren’t operating properly. Have appliances like stoves, furnaces and hot water heaters professionally maintained annually, and make sure their flue systems are properly sealed to prevent condensation.
For more tips to control moisture in your Southwest Florida home, talk to our heating and cooling experts at Conditioned Air. We have been serving the Southwest Florida area since 1962.
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.
In the hot and humid climate of Southwest Florida, air conditioning is practically a necessity during the hottest parts of the year, and a quality system can increase the value of your home significantly. Many older homes lack a central air conditioning system, so here are a few tips that will help when installing air conditioning in an older home:
Prepare Your Home
For an air conditioning system to run efficiently without dramatically increasing your energy costs, your home must be reasonably sealed and insulated. Drafts around windows, doors and other penetrations in your exterior walls can allow cool air to escape, significantly increasing your cooling costs, and a lack of insulation will make it hard for your home to maintain a cool temperature. Before installing air conditioning in an older home, consider having an energy evaluation done to find out where your home needs proper sealing and additional insulation.
Choose a System Type
If your home has existing ducts for a furnace, adding a central air conditioning system can be a relatively inexpensive choice. If, however, ducts must be added, the costs will increase dramatically. In that case, you may want to consider adding a ductless mini-split system, which can cool one or more rooms without the need for traditional air ducts. If you are upgrading your heating system at the same time, another option may be a heat pump, which requires air ducts, but can both heat and cool your home efficiently and cost-effectively.
Size It Correctly
Often, especially in older homes, air conditioners are oversized to compensate for any problems with air leaks or poor insulation. An air conditioner that isn’t properly sized will run inefficiently, increasing energy costs. Oversized systems will cycle on and off frequently, preventing proper dehumidification and stressing components like the blower motor and fans. Systems that are too small will work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. A professional should be used to size the system, using the proper Manual J procedures.
For more tips on installing air conditioning in an older home, talk to our team at Conditioned Air.