Air Conditioning Costs: Taking Your Energy Savings To The Next Level

Posted on: 25 May 2016

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As summer nears, many homeowner's thoughts turn to the increase in costs that their air conditioner will require. These people aren't mistaken in thinking this issue is important --air conditioning accounts for 5% of all electricity produced in the United States each year and costs approximately 11 billion dollars. That's why it is always a good idea to utilize a programmable thermostat and to always turn off your air conditioning unit when not in use.

However, for the environmentally minded homeowner, this might not be enough. If you're a homeowner that would like to take more significant measures to decrease the amount of energy that you use during the warmer months--for the sake of both the environment and your wallet--there are some tricks you need to know when making your summer preparations. 

Trick #1--Plant More Trees

Spring is a wonderful time to plant trees. The hard work of planting and landscaping is made much more pleasant by the presence of warmer weather after a long winter. That said, spring trees are also a great way to reduce your cooling costs in the summer. 

Studies show that a single shade tree can reduce your cooling costs by as much as 9%. Trees of the evergreen variety are perfectly suitable for this purpose, but leaf-bearing trees are better for the cash-conscious homeowner. That's because the leaves that shade your home in the summer disappear every winter--allowing the sun to shine through and help with heating needs.

Trick #2--Purchase Blackout Curtains

Sheer, stylish drapes are a wonderful way to add a dramatic visual effect to the interior rooms in your home. However, they do little to block the sun. Direct sunlight will raise the temperature of your home--and these curtains will not provide much protection.

Instead, purchase seasonal curtains that block all sunlight out of your home. When you aren't using a particular room in your house, make sure that you draw the curtains. The room's temperature will be naturally lower as a result, and your central air conditioning unit won't have to work as hard to keep it cool.

Trick #3--Don't Neglect Your Roof

The roof of your home, under normal conditions, shouldn't need to be replaced more than once every 20 years or so. Depending on the age and condition of your home, you might not be thinking about taking on this expensive home improvement for some time. But if you live in an older home--or if hail is a normal weather event in your area--a new roof can help with your cooling costs as well.

That's because cool roofs can be manufactured for almost any type of existing roof. Typically, these roofing materials utilize reflective coatings and other technology to keep the sun from impacting the climate of your home as much as it would normally. Also, since your roof should last a very long time, it's likely that the added initial expense for this type of roof will yield significant energy savings over the life of the roof.

Trick #4--Love Your Barbeque

When you're trying to keep your home cool, very few things can cause larger problems than a box in your kitchen that's heated to 450 degrees. Unfortunately, for both health and taste considerations, most food should be cooked. As a result, many families end up running their oven for a large part of the day.

Grilling your meals outside does one important thing--it keeps the heat for food preparation outside of your home. If you must use your stove, it's a good idea to turn off the air conditioner, open some windows, and circulate the air around your kitchen with fans if possible. That way, your air conditioner won't have to work overtime to cool your kitchen.

Smart thermostats and daily programs are a great way to make sure that your air conditioner isn't overused. But, if you truly want to save as much energy as possible this summer, these tricks should be a critical component of your plan. For more tips on keeping your home cool efficiently, contact a local HVAC company like Hayes Heating & Cooling