Keeping your large home cool during hot summer months can be costly, especially if you don’t have an efficient air conditioning system. Upgrading your windows and checking for cracks can help you cool your home more effectively, and many owners of large homes opt for modern cooling systems like the MRCOOL DIY Mini Split System to save time and money.
Beating the heat can be simpler than you think; all it takes is a bit of planning and effort. Keeping the utility bills under control is essential for heating or cooling a large space. Explore the following tips on cooling a large home to keep the heat down and reduce your cooling costs.
Ensure Proper Insulation
Insulating your walls and ceilings is crucial to get the most efficient cooling action in your home. Although a more exciting remodel may be tempting, updating your insulation should be one of your top priorities. Air will flow from a hot place to a cooler place, so the warm air from outside naturally flows into the cooler space of your attic or home.
Without proper insulation as a barrier to keep the outside heat out, air seeps into your home’s relatively cooler upper floors. Not only does this raise the house’s overall temperature, but your air conditioning system needs to work extra hard to cool the home. An insulating layer in your walls, roof, and, in some cases, the garage door can minimize heat gain.
There are several insulation types to choose from. For existing walls, spray foam insulation is the most cost-effective way to insulate your home. If you are constructing a new building or performing extensive renovations, structural insulated panels (SIPs) and fiberglass batts offer the best performance. The optimum depth for your insulation should be 8″ to 12″.
Use Ceiling Fans
The breeze from a fan can make a room feel 10°F cooler, so fans can be an important supplement to your current HVAC system to battle the heat. The direction you run your fan affects the room’s temperature. Running your ceiling fan counterclockwise pulls cooler air from lower in the room and recirculates it back down. While looking up at your fan, give it a regular cleaning.
Dust build-up on your fan blades can clog a floor or box fan’s air intake or slow a ceiling fan down, causing it to lose efficiency. Always turn your fans off when you leave a room to save on energy costs.
Keep Your Blinds Closed
Closing your blinds or shades during the sunniest parts of the day will keep your energy bills down, saving you some money. Blinds can act as secondary insulation against heat.
So, keep your shades or blinds drawn to prevent the sunlight from heating your home. Keeping the blinds and curtains drawn at night also keeps the cool, conditioned air inside your home more efficiently. If you don’t have blinds installed or you are renting your home, blackout curtains are an affordable alternative. Use a thicker curtain or a blackout shade on your south- and west-facing windows to minimize heat gain.
Switch to a Mini Split System
Installing a ductless 2-zone mini split or 3-zone mini split system in your house is a great way to control the temperature in individual rooms or spaces efficiently. Mini split systems use individual indoor air handlers to control the temperature in each zone and one outdoor multi-zone condenser.
These systems eliminate unnecessary power output caused by inefficiently cooling air flowing through poorly insulated ducts in the home, potentially saving you up to 30% over a central cooling system.
Unlike a central air conditioning system, they also let you control the temperature of individual areas, ensuring you don’t waste money by cooling an unoccupied room.
With a mini-split system, you can efficiently and economically cool the occupied rooms in your large home. While some mini split systems require professional installation, you can opt for a DIY system like MRCOOL to retrofit your house or room addition.
Close Doors to Unused Rooms
Closing the doors to unoccupied rooms, especially if you’ve switched to a ductless, 3-zone mini split system to cool your home, allows you to keep the cool air where you need it. Leaving the door open to a room that isn’t used will force your ductless system to work harder to cool an area you aren’t occupying.
Keeping all your doors open is a better idea if you’re still using a central unit. Closing doors to seldom-used spaces can lead to pressure changes that cause hot air from outside to leak or rush into your home. This makes the central unit of your air conditioner work harder and less efficiently to cool your home.
Seal Your Doors and Windows
Along with reducing sunlight exposure, keeping the hot air out is essential to cool a large home economically. Adding up every place and crack that hot air comes into the home would result in a basketball-sized hole for most people, so sealing off as many of those places as possible is necessary to keep the power bills down.
Your local utility company can often provide an energy audit to determine where you lose the most heat. Professional diagnostic testing can also give you a clear idea of where to shore up your defenses. Replacing any weatherstripping around doors and windows keeps hot air from seeping into your rooms. Check your crawl spaces for areas where hot air can invade, and inspect any ductwork on a central air unit for leaks.
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Use a Programmable Thermostat
Using your appliances more energy-efficiently can also help cut costs during the hot summer heat. Running high-heat appliances, like the oven or clothes dryer, during the warmest part of the day can raise the temperature in your home before you realize it and make your air conditioner need to run harder.
Ovens and clothes dryers should be run during the cooler morning hours if possible. Try to keep running your small appliances at once to a minimum, too. Excessive power usage during the hot summer can raise utility bills because of higher energy demands.
A programmable thermostat for your air conditioning unit is also a great way to cool your large home more efficiently. Programming your thermostat temperature to rise during the day while you’re at work and lower when you return will save you money because it won’t have to run all day.
A Cool and Comfy Home
You need a properly functioning HVAC system for a cooler home this summer. To ensure your HVAC system runs as efficiently as possible, create preventative maintenance that includes replacing the filters on your AC unit. This will keep it running smoothly, save you money on costly repairs, and ensure it offers the best cooling performance for a comfortable home all summer.