Balancing comfort with cost can be an ongoing challenge in the summer. There’s nothing worse than shuffling aimlessly through your home, fanning yourself with whatever is closest, and moving from one cold-spot to the other. Luckily, you can utilize more than a few techniques to experience a cooler summer and save a few bucks on cooling costs simultaneously.
Close Doors and Windows
If you are looking for a really simple, and very effective way to cool down your home in the summer, then simply close your doors and windows when it’s light out and the sun is shining.
How will this be effective? It’s pretty simple really. When it’s sunny out, the sun’s rays can beam themselves into your home and turn up the temperature significantly. In fact, sunlight can reduce the effectiveness of many cooling systems by as much as 30 percent, which means it needs to work a third harder to try and keep you cool, and that will definitely push up the costs!
By closing your blinds and shutting your interior doors, you can significantly reduce the amount of sunlight that gets into your home. The end result? You reduce your air conditioning costs and your energy bills, in one fell swoop.
Top tip: Blinds are really good a keeping the sun’s heat out, especially if they are thermal. Thermal blinds, when closed during the day, can reduce the heat getting into your home by around 75%. And light colored blinds are always more effective than dark ones.
Install Solar Panels
Want to reduce home cooling costs and do your bit for the planet at the same time? You cannot go wrong with solar panels. It sounds strange that you can use the heat of the sun to cool down your home, but if you install solar panels on your property (the roof is usually the best location) that is exactly what you can do.
How does it work? As the sun beams down and heats up the solar panels, its rays are stored as energy which you can use at a later date. Since this is completely free energy, you can reduce your cooling bills in the summer by using that solar energy to power your air conditioner or your fans or whatever other cooling contraptions you have seen fit to fill your home with. Of course, you can also use it to help heat your home in the winter too – if you have enough energy stored, solar panels will work all year round, although they might be less reliable in very dark areas in winter.
Of course, another major benefit of choosing solar panels to reduce home cooling costs is that they are extremely environmentally friendly. If they are installed correctly, not only will they not harm wildlife or the natural surroundings, but they will also not pump out carbon or require fossil fuels, and that is always a good thing.
Top tip: if you are going to install solar panels, it is best to do so in the summer months, as you can get off to a good start, capturing all of that precious sunlight, and storing it up for when you need it most. The installation will be easier to achieve when the weather is good, too.
A lot of people think that insulation is something you add to your home in order to keep it warmer in the winter, so they would not think to install insulation in a bid to keep their homes cool. But insulation is just as good at keeping things cool as it is at keeping them warm.
Insulation works by limiting the amount of heat transfer experienced by your home. In the summer months, this means it helps prevent hot air from outside from seeping into your house. The better your home is insulated, the less outside heat will penetrate into your living spaces, keeping your home cooler, which is why adding as much insulation in as many areas as possible, is key to keeping cool and cutting those utility bills as far as possible. In fact, you can save 15% or more on your utilities with insulation.
Top tip: If insulation is not an option for your home, for whatever reason, then you can save around 40% off your energy bills in the summer by installing an efficient roofing system, so that is another option worth exploring too.
When your air conditioner is working efficiently, it is easy to reduce the cost of air conditioning significantly because it will not have to go into overdrive to keep your home cool when it’s hot out.
Air conditioner filters play an essential role in keeping your AC running at optimal levels, but so many of us forget about them completely until they start to smell or make terrible noises. The thing is, when it gets to that point, your AC is already going to be working too hard and costing you too much money.
It is for this reason that most manufacturers recommend that you change your filter once every three months – more if you have pets. Doing so will not only keep your AC working efficiently but also reduce allergens like dust and pet dander from being pumped back into the air where you will breathe them in and potentially get sick as a result.
If your AC is not working efficiently, not only will it be wasting energy, but it will also not be pumping out as much cold air as it could be.
If your AC is inefficient, then it’s always worth talking to a professional repairperson to see if it is salvageable, however, while you do that, you are going to want to shut off any rooms that your family are not currently occupying and which are not using AC, so that the heat from those rooms does not penetrate everywhere else, because the higher the temperature in and outside of your home, the harder your AC unit will be forced to work to keep you all cool.
Top tip: Set a reminder on your phone when you change the filter, so you will not forget the next time.
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are an affordable solution to help keep your home cool, especially if you are able to install them yourself. They will reduce the cost of air conditioning by making it more efficient. How do they do this? By dispersing the cold air pumped out by the AC more evenly across the room, giving it much more reach in the process. Oh, and as a bonus, they look great too.
If you can get away with just using a ceiling fan, and no air con, then you will make huge savings because ceiling fans, on average use only 1% of the energy the average AC does. Something to think about!
Top tip: Turn your ceiling fan off when you leave the room or it will not be nearly as cost-effective.
As you can see, there are a number of (mostly) pretty simple things you can do to reduce the temperature of your home when it is hot out, while also saving yourself a huge chunk of money on the process, because who wants high utility bills anyway? Now, all that remains to be done is to seek out several quotes and get started on the process of adding these cost-effective cooling solutions to your home setup.