According to the EPA, there are several ways to improve cooling in residential buildings. The current trend in home building is toward energy efficiency and green construction. Knowing what types of money savers and environmentally friendly options to offer can give contractors more business:
- Insulation is the most obvious investment. Look for insulation with a high R-value (insulating capacity) to keep the attic cooler during warm weather. Note that it’s easier to install insulation during home building or roofing.
- Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels use light to generate power. PV systems are becoming more affordable, but check to see if there is enough harnessable solar energy in your area before installing.
- Solar hot water heaters use sunlight to heat water for home use. They can be used with a gas or electric back-up heater.
- Light-colored roofing materials can keep a house cooler in warm weather, saving homeowners money on cooling costs.
- Whole house fans help cool a home by drawing cool air in and exhausting hot air outside. Whole house fans offer huge savings to homeowners at one-tenth of the cost of running a central air conditioning unit. Whole house fans have been around for years and they’re a great way to cool a home, either as a supplement to air conditioning or alone. Consider the energy output of residential HVAC: a five-ton A/C can use over 6000 watts of electricity in one hour. Whole house attic fans use up to 800 watts per hour. This type of fan system makes sense when it comes to energy efficiency and money.