Summer in the South is no joke. Whether you spend your summers here or you’re a part-time resident, there are important steps you can take to protect your home – including yourself and your furnishings – from the sun. Follow these steps to sun-proof your house and save money on your energy bills.
Use Landscaping to Your Advantage
One great way to protect your home from the sun is to take advantage of your outdoor space. Planting trees or adding shrubs to your property can provide shade for your home and allow you to spend less on AC. According to the American Power Association, effective landscaping can cut your cooling costs by as much as 50 percent annually. Not to mention, an attractive yard adds re-sale value to your home.
The Arbor Day Foundation offers a handy online tool to help you determine the best spots in your yard to add trees. Adding shade can also help protect the things inside your home from the sun’s potentially damaging UV rays. This includes your furnishings, artwork and flooring.
Add Film to Your Windows
If you’re serious about protecting the items in your home during the sunny summer months, consider adding 3M film to your windows. 3M™ Window Film blocks up to 99.9 percent of the sun’s UV rays. In other words, it’s like adding SPF 1000 to your windows. It not only slows the fading of your furnishings, but it also protects your family’s skin from sun damage.
In addition, window film can help you save money on your electricity bills. In most cases, it pays for itself in energy savings in less than 36 months and it can help extend the life of your air conditioning unit. Not only that, but some 3M™ Window Films also help slow down intruders in the event of a break-in, keeping your home safer whether you’re there in the summer or not.
Inspect Your Ducts
In homes with central AC, heated and cooled air is typically distributed around the house through ducts. According to Energy Star, in the average American home, about 25 percent of treated air is lost through leaks and holes in the ducts before it can reach living spaces. If some of your rooms just don’t seem to cool down, it’s likely your ducts are to blame. Depending on the results you’re looking for, you can try sealing your ducts yourself or bringing in a professional contractor to help. Energy Star offers a helpful FAQ sheet on sealing your ducts, which is an important step when it comes to prepping your home for the summer.
Next Up … Insulation
After you’re sure that your ducts are in good order, check to see if you need to add insulation to your home. Insulation provides a barrier to prevent cool air from escaping. It can be particularly beneficial in the upstairs of a two-story home. This Old House offers a helpful guide to help you choose the type of insulation that’s best for you.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to optimize your home’s AC use without having to remember to manually adjust the temperature every time you leave the house. Most programmable thermostats allow you to set four different temperatures throughout the day: morning, daytime, evening and sleep. Many models also allow you to set different temperatures for different days of the week.
For more information about 3M™ Window Film, contact Accent Distributing today.