Cooling your home can be a major household expense. These six tips can help to reduce your the amount you spend on cooling.
1. Insulate the Home
Many people think that insulation is only helpful for keeping the home warm in winter, but in fact it can also reduce cooling costs. Adding insulation to the walls of your home, sealing up drafts around windows and doors, and investing in double glazing can all help to decrease the heat that sneaks into your home in summer.
2. Block Direct Sunlight
On sunny days, sunlight that shines through windows heats up the air inside the home. This heat becomes trapped in the home, driving up cooling costs. To reduce this effect, close curtains or blinds on sunny days. Net curtains and slatted blinds allow some light to enter your home while keeping out direct sunlight, which has the largest heating effect.
3. Avoid Producing Heat
Many household appliances produce huge amounts of heat, which can drive up cooling bills in the home. Tumbledryers, washing machines, ovens and dishwashers are some of the appliances that generate the most heat. On hot days, hang clean clothes outside to dry, and use the stovetop for cooking instead of the oven. You can also use appliances late in the evening when the temperature is usually much cooler and more comfortable, instead of during the day.
4. Allow Air to Flow Freely
Air conditioning systems distribute cool air around your home. If you place large objects, such as armchairs or bookcases, in front of the cooling vents, air cannot flow freely. If your home feels overheated despite high cooling bills, try rearranging the furniture to allow air to flow more easily.
5. Clean Air Conditioning Filters
If you notice that your air conditioner no longer works as well as it used to, it could be time to clean the filters. During normal air conditioner operation, filters remove dust, hair, dirt and pollen from the air. Every so often, you need to open up the unit and scrape these pollutants off the filters to allow the air conditioner to work efficiently.
6. Schedule an A/C Maintenance Check
If cleaning the filters does not lower your cooling costs, contact an air conditioning professional. A skilled technician can check the various parts inside your air conditioning unit and replace or repair any that are worn out. This should help the system to run more efficiently, lowering your home cooling costs.