When it gets hot outside, during those “dog days of summer” here in Ohio, homeowners depend on their home’s A/C to keep their place nice and cool. However, confronted with high or rising energy costs, this can become unsettling, and not to mention costly. What can a homeowner do to stay cool and keep it under budget?
We at Kettering-Oakwood Heating & Air present the following tips and ideas to help keep cooling costs at a minimum this summer without sacrificing comfort.
Prevent Sunlight From Coming in Directly
When direct sunlight beams into your house, it can make the interior temperature uncomfortably hot. One of the most simple methods to help cool your home while using less energy is to prevent daytime sunlight from coming directly in through your windows.
You can either close your drapes or close your blinds if the sun is at its hottest during the day. For a more comprehensive solution, you might even consider planting shade trees outside your larger windows. A lot of trees improve property value and add beauty to your home, while at the same time reducing home cooling expenses.
Apply Window Tint
If you enjoy the bright and cheerful effect of sunlight in your home, or if you don’t like shutting your drapes (hey, some people like to see the outdoors), consider applying window tint to your windows to reduce the volume of heat coming in through your windows.
You can usually find whole rolls of window tinting at your local hardware store. This tinting is fairly inexpensive and easy to install. Because windows that face the south and the west normally get the hottest sunlight through them, strategically installing tint on these windows should result in the greatest reduction in your home cooling expenses.
Take Advantage of Fans
Instead of lowering the thermostat to the air conditioner every time you feel you’re getting warm, leave that old thermostat alone and think about utilizing a fan to cool off. Reducing the temperature on your A/C burns up more energy in cooling off all the rooms in your home, while a fan utilizes only enough power to cool that one room you occupy. Fans also make you feel cooler, cause the air is circulating, using up a lot less energy. Just remember also in order to keep saving that money that you need to turn that fan off when you leave the room.
Don’t Skimp on Maintenance
To keep your air conditioner operating at its peak efficiency, make sure you are keeping up on routine and regular maintenance. A few simple maintenance suggestions you can take on your own include cleaning or changing the air filter every month, moving back any furniture or drapes that might be obstructing your air ducts and vents, and clearing space around the exterior compressor unit. These steps go a long way. However, to keep your air conditioner in its best condition and saving you money for years to come, don’t forget to schedule a seasonal HVAC maintenance visit every season. A technician can quickly and easily service parts that you aren’t able to, and they can help you avoid the most expensive of system breakdowns. This is a smart idea because no one wants to have to wait for A/C repairs during Ohio’s hottest of summer months.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Because homeowners enjoy coming home to a nice cool house after a long day, too many homeowners yield to the temptation to keep their air conditioner running all day, or while they’re gone, so it’s cool when they get back. It goes without saying that keeping an empty home cool all day when you’re away will run up a massive bill. This is why smart thermostats, or at least programmable thermostats, are so popular these days. A simple thermostat upgrade allows you to control your home comfort levels from your cell phone, or adjust the temperature of your home depending on the time of day ahead of time. Keep your house comfortable while you are there and save money while you’re away by checking out some of our latest and most popular thermostat gadgets. They pay for themselves quickly.
Consider Zoned Air Conditioning
Ductless, zoned, or mini-split systems are perfect for homeowners looking to keep certain rooms or areas of their home cooler than others. By cooling only the rooms you are using, instead of the entire house where rooms might not be occupied, you can quickly save money on your monthly energy expenses. Mini-split systems group together specific zones, like bedrooms or living rooms, as well as different levels. This type of system is affordable, practical, and easy to install.