Summer is at hand, and that means it is time to head to the beach, sit by the pool or enjoy a little time on the lake. While there are lots of fun outdoor activities to enjoy during the hottest months of summer, unfortunately, it simply is not possible to spend all your time outdoors. That results in the need for air conditioning which can increase your energy bills by hundreds of dollars each month. While there is no escaping the need for cooler temperatures inside the house, there are some simple things you can do to decrease your need to constantly run the air conditioner and reduce the size of your electric bill.
Buy Something New
If your air conditioning unit is 10+ years old, it might be time to consider replacing it. An old air conditioning unit is going to run less efficiently and have a more difficult time cooling your home to a comfortable temperature. New units are increasingly efficient and use less energy to keep your home cool. While you will pay more upfront to replace your unit, sometimes thousands of dollars, the savings over the life of your home will be well worth the investment.
Maintain Your Air Conditioning Unit
If your air conditioning unit is functioning properly, it is important to keep it that way. Performing regular maintenance on your unit can help it to run more efficiently and make it last longer too. Change your air filters monthly to increase air flow throughout your home and reduce the burden on your system. Also make sure your new air conditioning unit is installed properly if you are replacing an old one. Consider a contract with a heating and cooling professional to clean and perform maintenance on your unit twice a year to keep it running efficiently and rectify any problems before they negatively impact your pocketbook.
Consider Renovations To Insulate
If your home seems hot even with the air conditioning running and your unit is functioning properly, the problem may be your insulation. A poorly insulated home lets hot air in and loses cool air at an alarmingly fast rate. This amounts to a less comfortable home and increased energy consumption costs. New spray foam insulation closes up the nooks and crannies where cool air is escaping from your home and makes for a more comfortable environment. Replacing insulation inside your home can be a time consuming and expensive endeavor, so it is important to hire a qualified contractor to help you get the job done right.
Make Rooms Feel Cooler
One trick that will help you to use your air conditioner less is to keep your rooms feeling cool. There are several ways to accomplish this. Installing ceiling fans can make a room feel up to eight degrees cooler any time of year. Adding window coverings will help to keep the sun out and keep your rooms increasingly comfortable. Planting trees and shrubs as landscaping around your house is another way to reduce the level of hot sunshine that enters your home and keep your space feeling cooler.
Use Appliances Wisely
Using some appliances in your home, especially the stove or oven, can quickly heat your house to uncomfortable levels and make your air conditioning unit work harder. Try to reduce your need for cooking during the day by eating more salads and sandwiches that do not require heat or heating items in the microwave if you do have to cook. Also plan to cook your bigger meals at night when the temperatures are cooler, and the heat from your appliances will not have such a negative impact on the temperature in your home.
Taking a few steps to reduce your air conditioning usage will have a positive impact on your pocketbook and the environment too. The above are some simple suggestions that can help. If you are interested in learning more about cost effective, energy reducing renovations that will improve the look, feel and value of your home, contact Alair Homes. We are home renovation experts and have some great tips that will help you to stay cooler even when the temperatures reach extreme levels.