It’s only natural to worry about the effect running your air conditioner will have on your electric bill, especially when a heat wave strikes in late summer. The good news is, you can reduce the use of your air conditioner with a few simple changes to your living space.
Windows let in natural light to brighten the home, but when the mercury soars they can be a source of unwanted heat, too. Try these tips for preventing overheating from your windows:
- Weather Stripping: If you thought weather stripping was only for winter time, you’ll be surprised to learn it is an effective way to seal out summer heat too. Check that your windows (and doors) are sealed properly to keep out hot air.
- Solar Curtains: These curtains are designed to stop heat in its tracks and reflect the rays back outside where they belong.
- Insulated Curtains: Insulated curtains, preferably with a white or light-colored backing, are the next best thing to solar curtains. Keep them drawn during the day to prevent heat from entering the home through the windows.
Nearly everyone knows that keeping the outside door closed during the heat of the day keeps your house cooler, but you might be surprised to learn other ways your doors affect the comfort of your home.
- Outside Door: Seal your outside door with weather stripping to prevent hot air from entering around the frame. A door sweep installed at the foot of the door prevents hot air from entering between the threshold and the door.
- Glass Doors: Your sliding glass doors might be convenient and let in natural light, but when temperatures rise you will need shades or curtains to block out the sun. Follow the recommendations for windows to keep heat out from your sliding glass doors.
- Screen Door: Installing a screen door allows you to open the door when the temperatures drop outside and circulate cool air in the home.
- Inside Doors: To encourage good airflow throughout your home when running the AC unit, install inside doors with a clearance of an inch or two at the bottom of the door. This allows air to flow freely through the house even when the doors are closed.
It’s easy to overlook the effect your landscaping has on the comfort of your home in hot weather. You can use plants and trees to reduce your reliance on air conditioning and save on energy bills.
- Shade Trees: Shade trees block the sun’s rays and prevent your home from overheating. The type of shade tree you choose depends on your location and the recommended shade trees for your area. Look for one that grows quickly and produces a large canopy to take advantage of the shade it provides. Plant shade trees on the southern or western side of your home to absorb the heat from afternoon rays.
- Trellises: Use trellises and climbing flowers to shade windows or to provide shade for the AC unit, but avoid planting flowers or shrubs closer than two feet from the AC unit, as this can cause problems with air circulation.
Fans can make your home feel more comfortable. Consider these simple solutions for beating the heat.
- Ceiling Fans: Although they don’t lower the temperature in your home, ceiling fans make the room feel cooler due to the movement of air. You can also run the ceiling fan to circulate cool air while running your AC unit.
- Attic Fans: Use attic fans to draw hot air out of your home.
- Directional Fans: Use a directional fan on your desk or in the living room or bedroom to keep comfortable without turning on the AC.
Regular AC maintenance is always important and ensures your AC unit is ready when you need it. Call your HVAC Contractors if you need AC Repair or are concerned about the operation of your AC unit.