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energy savings tips

Simple and inexpensive actions can help you save energy and money during the warm spring and summer months.

Here you'll find strategies to help you save energy during the spring and summer when the weather is warm and you are trying to keep your home cool. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the spring and summer. For more ways to stay cool while saving energy, check out our Energy Saver 101 infographic, covering everything you need to know about home cooling.

If you haven't already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most.

Also check out tips to save energy during the fall and winter.

USE YOUR WINDOWS TO GAIN COOL AIR AND KEEP OUT HEAT

  • If you live in a climate where it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
    Learn more about natural ventilation.
  • Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.
    Find out about window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

OPERATE YOUR THERMOSTAT EFFICIENTLY

energy use

A home energy assessment (sometimes referred to as an energy audit) will show what parts of your house use the most energy and suggest the best ways to cut energy costs. You can conduct a simple home energy assessment by doing it yourself (DIY) or, for a more detailed assessment, contact your local utility or an energy auditor. Our Energy Saver 101 infographic breaks down a home energy audit, explaining what energy auditors look for and the special tools they use to determine where a home is wasting energy. Also, you can learn more about home energy audits and find free tools and calculators on the Residential Services Network or the Building Performance Institute.

DIY ENERGY ASSESSMENT TIPS

  • Check the insulation in your attic, exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces. To determine the insulation R-values in different parts of your home, visit the Air Leaks and Insulation sections.
  • Check for air leaks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets.
  • Check for open fireplace dampers.
  • Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained. Check your owner's manuals for the recommended maintenance.
  • Study your family's lighting needs and look for ways to use controls--like sensors, dimmers, or timers--to reduce lighting use.

YOUR WHOLE-HOUSE PLAN

After you know where your home is losing energy, make a plan by asking yourself a few questions:

  • How much money do you spend on energy?
  • Where are your greatest energy losses?
  • How long will it take for an investment in energy efficiency to pay for itself in energy cost savings?
  • Do the energy-saving measures provide additional benefits that are important to you—for example, increased comfort from installing double-paned, efficient windows?
  • How long do you plan to own your current home?
  • Can you do the job yourself or do you need a contractor?
  • What is your budget?
  • How much time do you have for maintenance and repairs?
  • more at http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/tips-your-homes-energy-use

window framesWindows come in a number of different frame and glazing types. By combining an energy-efficient frame choice with a glazing type tailored to your climate and application, you can customize each of your home’s windows.

TYPES OF WINDOW FRAMES

Improving the thermal resistance of the frame can contribute to a window's overall energy efficiency, particularly its U-factor. There are advantages and disadvantages to all types of frame materials, but vinyl, wood, fiberglass, and some composite frame materials provide greater thermal resistance than metal.

ALUMINUM OR METAL FRAMES

Although very strong, light, and almost maintenance free, metal or aluminum window frames conduct heat very rapidly, which makes metal a very poor insulating material. To reduce heat flow and the U-factor, metal frames should have a thermal break -- an insulating plastic strip placed between the inside and outside of the frame and sash.

COMPOSITE FRAMES

Composite window frames consist of composite wood products, such as particleboard and laminated strand lumber. These composites are very stable, they have the same or better structural and thermal properties as conventional wood, and they have better moisture and decay resistance.

FIBERGLASS FRAMES

Fiberglass window frames are dimensionally stable and have air cavities that can be filled with insulation, giving them superior thermal performance compared to wood or uninsulated vinyl.

VINYL FRAMES

Vinyl window frames are usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers to keep sunlight from breaking down the material. Vinyl window frames do not require painting and have good moisture resistance. The hollow cavities of vinyl frames can be filled with insulation, which makes them thermally superior to standard vinyl and wood frames.

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About Sun Coast Energy

Heating and Air Conditioning Repair, Maintenance and Installation for Baldwin County area homeowners, property managers, and real estate investors. Trusted specialists in residential air conditioner replacement and installation.

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