Maintaining your heating and cooling system is essential for prolonging its lifespan and ensuring it runs in an effective, efficient manner. However, maintenance alone will not help your system run properly when temperatures are increasing this summer. Considering half of your home's total energy consumption goes towards heating and air conditioning, improving your air conditioner's efficiency this summer is smart for reducing costs. Thankfully, you can reduce cooling costs by improving your system's efficiency using these out-of-the-box solutions.
Dress your Windows
Blinds, drapes, and shades are popular for adding privacy and style to your windows, but they can also block out the harmful rays of the sun, reducing heat gain and improving your air conditioner's efficiency.
Consider the following options to dress windows in your home:
- Blinds – Choose wood or faux wood blinds for your windows. Blinds are versatile options, allowing you to open and close the slats depending on your current desire. In the summer months when temperatures are higher, close your blinds to block solar heat gain.
- Drapes – Add color, texture, and energy efficiency to your home by installing drapes on your windows. Available in a variety of colors and designs, finding a look suited to the style of your home should be simple. To reduce solar heat gain by 33 percent, consider installing drapes in a medium color that have a white plastic backing for additional insulation. Be sure to close your drapes in the hotter months of the year.
Run your Fans
Circulating the air in your home may seem like a waste of energy, but running your ceiling fan can improve the efficiency of your air conditioner.
Circulating air in the home can keep you and your family members cool in temperatures up to 85 degrees. Combining the use of your air conditioner and ceiling fans will allow you to set your thermostat at a higher temperature, while still keeping your family cool in the hotter temperatures of summer.
Landscape for Shade
Landscaping is an important part of your home's curb appeal and value, but certain plants and trees can improve the energy efficiency of your air conditioner system. By planting shade-producing trees around your home, you can block solar heat gain, reducing your household's air conditioning costs.
Consider planting deciduous trees in the eastern, western, and northwestern sides of your home to produce shade and reduce cooling costs by 35 percent.
Here are a few fast-growing trees that produce sufficient shade:
- Weeping Willow
- Red Oak
- American Sycamore
Since these trees can grow high and wide rather quickly, make sure to leave sufficient space between their root location, your home, powerlines, and other structures.
Turn Off the Lights
Leaving on lights when not necessary wastes energy and creates heat inside your home. This heat can increase the need for your air conditioner to run, increasing costs dramatically.
Incandescent lights use a small amount of electricity to create light, but the larger amount of energy creates heat inside your home. Turning off these incandescent lights will not only decrease energy, but also decrease the heat generated by the bulbs.
Consider replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs are more efficient, and they also create less heat when compared to incandescent, halogen, and CFL bulbs. While more energy efficient, you should still turn off light fixtures and lamps that contain LED bulbs. This will decrease the total amount of heat generated from lighting inside the home.
Cooling your home this summer may be challenging and expensive, but you can reduce costs during this hot season. Using these out-of-the-box options, you can improve your cooling system's efficiency this summer.
To have your air conditioner serviced, contact a company like A One Heating & Air Conditioning.