If you live in an area that’s prone to blisteringly hot summers or year-round warm weather, there’s a good chance you’re paying a small fortune in cooling costs. While a dependable cooling system is an absolute necessity in certain parts of the country, there are a number of convenient, cost-effective ways to avoid running your AC 24/7. In addition to being a boon to your finances, giving your air conditioning a rest can help extend its life and stave off pricey repairs down the line. Homeowners looking for easy ways to save money on cooling costs can benefit from the following pointers.
Install Reliable Ceiling Fans
Good ceiling fans can be very advantageous to your home cooling efforts. High-quality fans can effectively circulate cool air throughout your home, thereby taking some of the pressure of your air conditioning. When dealing with extreme heat, it’s recommended that you set your fans to rotate counterclockwise at medium to high speeds. This way, instead of simply blowing warm air around your house, the fans will push cool air down, creating a refreshing artificial breeze. For safety purposes, make sure your fans are turned off before proceeding to adjust them.
Ceiling fans can be particularly useful in bedrooms, especially for people who are very specific about their preferred sleep climate. As an added bonus, some ceiling fans can double as overhead lights. For example, a high-quality ceiling fan with lights is liable to illuminate your bedroom – or any other area of your home – more effectively than lamps or natural light.
Open Your Windows When the Sun Goes Down
If you live in an area where the temperature drops considerably after the sun goes down, you may be able to use this to your advantage. Instead of running your air conditioner during the overnight hours, consider opening some windows and allowing your ceiling fans to circulate the cool outdoor air throughout your home. Allowing Mother Nature to take over cooling duties is a great way to save on energy costs and provide overworked AC with a much-needed break.
Consider Sun-Blocking Curtains
Excessive sunlight stands to increase the temperature in your home and make certain areas uncomfortably bright. To nip both of these issues in the bud, consider investing in sun-blocking curtains. As the name implies, these curtains are designed for the express purpose of minimizing the amount of sunlight that finds its way into your home. In many cases, sun-blocking curtains are every bit as affordable as standard curtains, so you needn’t worry about them being prohibitively expensive. Additionally, as is the case with regular curtains, sun-blocking curtains come in a variety of colors and patterns.
If you’re not keen on the idea of replacing your curtains, blackout screens may be an option worth considering. While these screens can last a good long while and are easy to place over windows, they generally can’t be reapplied after being taken down, as their adhesive will no longer be as sticky.
Invest in Energy Efficient Windows
In addition to investing in sun-blocking window dressings, you should also consider the overall quality of your windows. For example, traditional single-paned windows aren’t exactly conducive to energy efficiency. A fair amount of cool air is able to escape through these windows, thus facilitating the need for your AC to work even harder. On the flipside, energy efficient windows are designed to prevent air from escaping. This means cool air will remain inside and warm air will remain outdoors.
Although energy efficient windows may seem like a large investment at the outset, they ultimately stand to save you a princely sum in home cooling costs. Spending a little money in the short term can prove tremendously beneficial in the long run.
As anyone who hails from an area with year-round warm weather can attest, there’s no substitute for dependable air conditioning. However, while reliable AC may be a necessity, it needn’t be the only tool at your disposal. Unbeknownst to many homeowners dealing with extreme heat, there are a number of convenient and cost-effective ways to complement the valiant efforts of air conditioners. Anyone looking to keep their home nice and cool without paying top dollar would be wise to consider the measures discussed above.