5 Effective Ways to Cool Down Your Air Conditioning Costs
Heating and cooling your home can be a major expense. But if you live in a particularly hot climate, your electric bill is likely to skyrocket in the summer, despite your best efforts to curb the incursion of summer heat. You can, of course, draw the shades in the daytime and fling open the windows at night to keep your home interior as cool as possible. You can also run the ceiling fans (although this could end up using a significant amount of energy, as well). And you can always try to beat the heat by taking a dip in your local pool. But you can also enjoy a comfortable home interior throughout the sweltering months of the summer season without giving up your firstborn child to pay for it. Here are just a few effective strategies to help you beat the heat at a price you can afford.
- Perform a home energy audit. Getting your cooling costs under control starts with ensuring that your bought air isn’t leaking out. A home energy auditor will run tests and conduct a comprehensive inspection in order to deliver a report detailing areas where you’re suffering energy waste. From there you can add weather stripping around windows and doors and use caulk or other products to seal up leaks that are causing you to pay to cool the outside.
- Insulate and ventilate. Hermetically sealing your home isn’t going to do much good if your insulation isn’t up to snuff. Luckily, your home energy audit report should also inform you of areas where insulation isn’t doing its job. And once you’ve got your house tight as a drum, you need to make sure that your ventilation is adequate. People always seem to forget the “V” in HVAC, but without proper ventilation your air quality will suffer and your equipment may be plagued by pollutants that foul up the inner workings and compromise efficiency.
- Zone your home. Many homeowners have by now learned the benefits of setting a programmable thermostat to coincide with their schedule of absences. But you might not realize that zoning your home could maximize your savings. You’ve no doubt noticed different floors or even different rooms in your home tend to get hotter throughout the day. But if you set the thermostat to deal with the rampant heat on the second floor, anyone downstairs will receive an arctic blast. Zoning could solve this problem by using a system of sensors and electronically controlled dampers to direct cold air exactly where it needs to go.
- Install energy film. While you can certainly spring for awnings to keep the worst of the sun from streaming in through the windows and heating your home interior like an oven, you might want to consider the advantages of energy film. It’s relatively inexpensive and all you have to do is cut it to size and stick it to windows. It can peel and re-stick as needed and it is said to reduce the incursion of the sun’s heat-producing rays by as much as 90%, reducing your need for AC.
- Consider ductless options. You may not know much about ductless versatility and convenience, but when you have individual wall units in every room you’ll soon see the savings inherent to using spot treatments instead of a whole-home system to cool your interior. Although central air is certainly convenient and unobtrusive, the financial benefits to be gained from using AC only when and where it is needed thanks to ductless units cannot be overstated.