To help save energy and money on utility bills, look to your home’s roof, siding, windows and doors.
Your home’s exterior plays a big role in helping you stay cool indoors over the summer. Whether or not you have air conditioning, you’ll want to keep the cool air inside to feel more comfortable and to save energy and money on your utility bills.
- Turn off your AC and open the windows at night to let in cool air.
- Install awnings or shutters.
- Throw shade—in a good way—on your house with a wall trellis, lattice with vines or deciduous trees on the south side of your home to provide maximum summertime roof shading.
You might also want to do some larger upgrades to make a big difference in energy and cost savings, like getting a new roof or siding, or upgrading doors and windows. Here are a few tips to save energy with your roof, siding, doors, windows and HVAC system.
- Ready to replace your roof? Opt for a “cool roof” that’s lighter in color and uses ENERGY STAR-certified products that help reflect sunrays. Bonus: Decreasing your roof temperature can add years to your roof.
- Hands down, insulation is the most cost effective way to save energy. It helps reduce heat transfer from outside air to inside your house. While you’re at it, consider adding a radiant barrier to the underside of the roof deck (between it and the insulation) to further reduce heat transfer.
- Just like your roof, your siding should have a layer of insulation. It provides a good weather barrier to help protect your home during storms while helping to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You can’t add insulation to installed siding; when you’re shopping for new siding, ask about how much insulation the siding has.
- Check for rotten areas on wood siding, making sure there are no cracks or spots where air can infiltrate or escape. Also check the caulking at least once a year — it can shrink and crack over time.
- Make sure the door closes properly with a good seal, and check that all the areas around the frame are covered with weather stripping. If the door does not close properly, or you can feel a draft, it may be time to consider getting a new door replacement.
- If you have glass in your doors, check for cracks in the glass.
Check exterior and interior caulking around windows for cracks. Make sure your windows close and seal correctly. You can buy new low-E windows, which minimize ultraviolet and infrared light, or you can hire a tinting company to apply a film to the interior of the windows to reflect UV light.
Have your HVAC system serviced once a year to make sure it’s running efficiently. And be sure to trim any plants near the air conditioner for adequate airflow.
Practicing proper heating and cooling preventive maintenance techniques can go a long way when trying to make your home more efficient.