Whether it's beating the summer heat or keeping warm in the winter managing your home's heating and cooling needs can take a great deal of effort and money. However, there are methods you can employ to help manage your home's temperature and save money in the long run. While some approaches can improve your home's efficiency year round, others will be best suited to just one extreme.
All Year Improvements
One of the most important parts of keeping any home comfortable is proper insulation, and one of the best materials to use for insulating your home is spray foam. Not only will a proper application provide better insulating properties than alternatives, it will also create an air-tight seal that will prevent drafts. Properly applied to exterior walls and attic spaces, your home will lose less heat in the winter and will heat more slowly in the summer.
In addition to insulating your home, it's a good idea to make sure the source of your heating and cooling is in the best shape possible. Annual inspections and maintenance of your HVAC system will keep it running smoothly and help identify problems before they require major repairs. Better still, a properly maintained HVAC system will function more efficiently, providing more air flow to your home while using less energy or fuel in the process.
One of the most cost effective heat sources available to you is the sun, and the addition of south-facing windows or skylights can help to allow more ambient heat into your home. Positioned vertically, these windows will catch less of the summer sun while allowing more of the winter sun in. You can also position natural stone to catch the sun's heat, providing a radiant source of warmth throughout the day.
Cooling your home in the summer is a bit more complicated than heating it during the winter, as it requires the use of a heat sink or cooling source to be truly effective. Consider window-mounted air conditioners, which use less energy than a forced air HVAC system, and can easily be shut off when a room isn't occupied. Installing ceiling fans will also help to keep air moving while the AC is in use, increasing air flow and reducing the work that your central unit has to do.
While central heating and cooling is often the first thought of homeowners, there are a number of out-of-the-box approaches which can help keep your home comfortable. The added benefit of this extra effort will show itself on your energy bill as the temperature hits it's most extreme. For more information, contact a company such as A-C Contractors Heating & Cooling.