Air conditioning can turn summers into the most expensive season of the year if you’re not careful. In general, not running the AC isn’t an option, so many people accept a high energy bill as an unavoidable aspect of living in an area with warm summers. However, you can save money and be more environmentally friendly by trying some low-tech ways to keep your home cool. The following methods help prevent heat from entering your home, thus minimizing the amount of work that needs to be done by your AC unit:
- Planting trees near your home, especially in areas where they will shade windows. Shade will help cool the house, and the trees will lose their leaves in the winter when more sunlight is desirable.
- You can also get more shade by installing awnings over your windows.
- Planting vines that will grow on your home serves as an extra layer of insulation, significantly lowering cooling costs. However, you should consider factors like whether the species is invasive, whether it will require a lot of watering, and whether it will cause damage to the structure of your house before deciding to plant a specific vine.
- Using ceiling fans while you are in the room, in exchange for keeping the thermostat a little higher. Ceiling fans help to improve air circulation and increase the amount of air that comes into contact with your skin, which makes the same temperature feel cooler. However, the effect is moot when you aren’t in the room to feel it, so ceiling fans shouldn’t be left on when you the room is unoccupied.
- Run an attic fan to keep hot air moving out of the house. Homes can retain heat in the attic even when temperatures are cool.
- Using light or white colors on your house and roof. Light is reflected by white but absorbed by dark colors, so the color of your home can have a big impact on your electric bill.
- Plan your kitchen use. Running ovens and stoves can add a lot of heat to your house, so in the summertime it’s a good idea to take advantage of the slow cooker and the outdoor grill.
A home energy auditor can help you identify both high- and low-tech ways to keep your home cool. If you are interested in a home energy audit, please contact Cooper Climate Control by (480) 460-7417.