Homeowners in warmer parts of the country – and areas that receive brutally hot summers – spend a fair amount on home cooling. This is particularly true for households that rely solely on their central A/C systems. Although a good central air conditioner can be an invaluable tool, making it your only home cooling aid practically guarantees exorbitant utility costs. Anyone looking to break this cycle of wastefulness would do well to heed the following pointers.
Seal Window Drafts
A significant amount of cool air can be lost through window drafts. Additionally, the more air that’s lost through your windows, the more effort your central air conditioner needs to expand. In addition to placing a strain on your central A/C, this also stands to increase your monthly utility costs. With this in mind, make a point of thoroughly inspecting every window in your home and sealing any drafts that you come across.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of easy ways to seal drafty windows. Foam tape, caulk, and bubble wrap are just a few of the readily available tools you can use in this endeavor. You may also want to consider purchasing a convenient window insulator kit.
Install Heat-Reflecting Window Films
Heat-reflecting window films are another cost-effective option for minimizing escaped air. Per the name, these films are installed over windows and serve to minimize how much cool air finds its way outside and how much warm air finds its way in. Furthermore, these films are affordable on virtually any budget and take very little effort to securely install.
These films won’t just serve you well during the summer months, either. If you live in an area that receives bitterly cold winters, you’ll be pleased to learn that the aforementioned films can help seal in warm air while keeping cool air at bay throughout the wintertime.
Prioritize A/C Maintenance
For many households, a dependable central air conditioner serves as the primary cooling aid. Given how effectively and efficiently a good central A/C unit can cool a home, there’s little wonder as to why. However, in order for your A/C to be maximally effective, you’ll need to make regular maintenance a priority. The less maintenance a central air conditioner receives, the less effective it’s liable to be at performing its primary function. Furthermore, air conditioners that don’t receive sufficient maintenance tend to have relatively short lifespans. Considering how much good central air conditioners typically cost, neglecting A/C maintenance is far from financially savvy.
In the interest of keeping your central air conditioner running at peak efficiency, it’s recommended that you have it professionally serviced at least once a year. People who hail from perpetually warm climates would do well to have their air conditioners serviced even more often than that. You may not relish having to spend money on service visits, but parting with a small amount of money in the short term can prevent you from shelling out for exorbitant repair costs in the long run.
Clean Single Room Units
If you use single-room A/C units instead of a central air conditioner, you’ll need to clean them out quarterly or semiannually to keep them operating at peak efficiency. The exact mechanics involved with cleaning single-room units vary by brand and model, so if you’re unclear on how to properly clean the ones in your home, consult their respective owner’s manuals or outsource this task to an experienced pro. The dirtier these units get, the less effective they are at cooling, and the shorter their lifespans are liable to be.
Make the Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
In addition to consuming more energy, traditional incandescent light bulbs produce a fair amount of heat. So, if all the bulbs in your home are incandescent, this is liable to impact indoor temps. While energy-efficient LED and CFL bulbs cost a little more upfront, they’ll ultimately save you money with their considerably longer lifespans and reduced energy consumption. Furthermore, they produce far less heat than their incandescent counterparts, which can prove helpful to your home cooling efforts.
Purchase High-Quality Ceiling Fans
High-quality ceiling fans can significantly strengthen your home cooling efforts. Installing reliable ceiling fans all around your residence will help evenly distribute the cool air produced by your air conditioner. Even without the A/C on, you can enable your ceiling fans to produce downward-flowing cool breezes by adjusting their blades to turn counterclockwise.
Not only are dependable ceiling fans easily affordable, but they’re also available in an expansive array of styles and sizes. For example, if your home is lacking in-ceiling space, you should look into flush mount ceiling fan. Conversely, if your residence could use some additional light fixtures, consider purchasing ceiling fans with lights. Furthermore, if you’re looking to cool off a porch or patio, outdoor ceiling fans may be right up your alley.
In some parts of the country, cost-effective home cooling can be an uphill battle. Depending on where you’re based, it may seem like your only options are living in an uncomfortably warm residence or shelling out a small fortune every month. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can preserve your financial resources while enjoying all the comfort of a well-cooled home. If manageable cooling costs are what you seek, the measures discussed above are sure to come in handy.