As the temperatures rise and the days grow longer, you may be thinking of all the ways you can spend more time outside this summer. That is until those days when it feels hotter than ever before, leaving you longing for a place to chill, indoors. Together with Trane Residential, we’re revisiting four essential strategies for keeping both you and your home cool this summer, while also conserving energy. Here’s to stepping back over your threshold and finding that oh-so-refreshing feeling of crisp, comfortable air inside your home.
1. Invest in a programmable or smart thermostat
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As the central connection to your HVAC system, the right thermostat can help you reach optimal energy efficiency and comfort within your home. A basic, programmable thermostat can be set to automatically change the home’s target temperature throughout the day to account for times when you are away from home or fast asleep, while a smart version provides flexibility to make adjustments when preferences or plans change.
Pro tip: When away for the day, setting back your home temperature by seven to 10 degrees can save up to 10 percent in your annual heating and cooling costs. When headed out on vacation, you can set back the temperature even farther, but don’t forget to take into account the pets who might stay behind.
Trane’s ComfortLink™ II XL1050 touchscreen control combines zone-by-zone comfort control with the ability to make your home ‘Smart Home Ready.’ This means you have the flexibility to not only remotely monitor and control your thermostat from a smartphone, tablet, or computer, but you can also control other smart home devices as well—all from virtually anywhere your travels take you this summer.
2. Consider an energy efficient air conditioning system
Investing in an energy efficient HVAC system could be an important element in achieving a stable and comfortable temperature throughout your home. The Trane XV20i TruComfort™ Variable Speed air conditioner is one of the industry’s most efficient systems. With Trane TruComfort™ technology, the XV20i gives you precise comfort by running at the exact speed needed to keep your home at just the right temperature.
The XV20i is rated up to 22 SEER—seasonal energy efficiency ratio, the energy efficiency rating for HVAC systems—and with 750 stages of comfort for the ultimate climate control and maximum efficiency. This means the compressor, outdoor fan, and indoor fan adjusts to varying operating speeds and BTU as the temperature outside changes, gradually slowing down or speeding up to keep within 1/2° of the thermostat setting. Also, like all Trane products, the XV20i has been rigorously tortured and tested for long-lasting durability so you can be sure this system will hold up to anything and keep you cool for many summers to come.
Pro tip: "When my friends ask what’s the most important feature to have when buying a new system, I say variable speed," states Melissa Foley, director of strategic relationships at Trane. "Variable speed is the secret weapon to humidity control, which is equal to comfort but also brings on energy efficiencies because the home is running at a more manageable temperature while still delivering comfort."
3. Implement a zoning system for optimal comfort
For the greatest temperature regulation and personalized comfort throughout your home, consider a zoned HVAC system. Such a system divides your home into different temperature areas, each controlled by its own thermostat that can be set to a unique temperature. A zoned system is ideal for multi-story homes that have finished attics and basements; cathedral vaulted or high ceilings; picture windows, bay windows, or large glass windows; expansive rooms or extra wings; as well as guest rooms or other spare areas that are rarely used.
Through zoning you can independently control parts of your home you use less often or that are more difficult to cool, and save money by keeping these areas at the desired temperature without over or under cooling the rest of the home. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that HVAC system zoning can save homeowners up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill.
Pro tip: Talking with a Trane HVAC professional can help you determine how your home can benefit most from the zoned system approach. "Trane has many different options to choose from to meet a homeowner’s preferences and budget," Melissa explains. "Plus, there is a return on investment to be factored into the cost. A homeowner can save as much as 54 percent in energy costs when replacing an HVAC system installed in 2006 or later. Those are real dollars to offset the purchase cost."
4. Lower your blinds and turn on the fans
Even with an efficient air conditioning system, there are other, simpler ways to help regulate the internal temperature and improve circulation throughout your home. Save on energy costs by keeping blinds closed or curtains pulled—especially during the hottest parts of the day and in those spaces with direct sunlight. This will prevent rooms from heating up too much and avoid making your air conditioning system work longer to cool them back down again.
Ceiling fans or smaller portable fans also help circulate cool air and make the internal temperature feel more comfortable in a single room. While fans are not intended to cool an entire house, they allow you to increase the thermostat setting by up to four degrees without compromising your comfort level. It’s another way to keep both your home and wallet cool while you relax this summer.
Pro tip: As you gear up for the summer months, discover more energy saving tips and products for a variety of budgets by visiting the Trane Residential website.