Passive Cooling: Keeping your Energy Bills Down this Summer

14Summer is on its way with temperatures in Baltimore and Washington D.C. expected to hover in the high 80s and low 90s throughout July, with plenty of thundershowers to interrupt outdoor barbecues and cool things off a little.

If you have, or are planning to get, new replacements windows, they will help you keep the AC in and the heat, and other elements, out. By now you’ve probably heard that the latest in vinyl framed windows will also help you lower your energy bills, which is always welcomed as they can soar in the summer months.

You can, however, enjoy even greater savings on the AC potion of your energy bills by strategically using your new windows to utilize passive, natural, cooling. While the sun doesn’t come with an off switch, your AC unit does and you can use it, in conjunction with your windows, too cut expenses.

Cool Air In, Hot Air Out

Clearly, opening the windows and letting the heat in and the AC out during the hottest hours of the day won’t help you cool off at all. But, you can take the reverse approach and take advantage of cooler nights by opening your windows after dark, letting cooler air in and then making sure all the windows are then closed once the temperatures start rising in the morning. By trapping the cooler night air in the house and “sealing it off” so to speak (which also means not opening and closing the doors very often), you can keep your home cooler. One of the best features of the new windows is that they limit the elements from coming into your home but can also limit the cooler air from getting out. You can also enhance the effect by letting the cooler air in and then circulating it with a ceiling fan or two, which is a lot cheaper than having the AC on all the time.

Taking this passive cooling system one step further, you can also open windows downstairs on the shadier side of your house and upstairs on the sunnier side of your house. If the path is clear, since hot air rises, you can create an air flow as the cooler air comes in and pushes the hot air out – a couple of small, well placed, inexpensive fans can also help move the air in the desired direction.

You’ll also find that accentuating your new windows with shades, blinds and awnings can cut down on the sunlight. And while we can’t fight the humidity, once those summer thunderstorms come and go, you can also open your windows to let in that nice breeze and the cooler air that usually follows. By working with your windows and perhaps a few fans you can cut some significant money off you’re summer energy bills.

For all the latest info on getting your replacement windows contact us at (410) 299-0038.  Here’s to keeping cool in the heat of summer.

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