With summer finally here, many of us are doing our best to stay cool amidst the sweltering heat. Unfortunately, as any longtime homeowner can attest, cooling costs can put a substantial dent in one’s personal finances during the summer months. However, this isn’t to say that you should simply resign yourself to paying exorbitant fees every summer. There are a number of ways to keep your home nice and cool without paying top dollar – many of which are both cost-effective and environmentally sound.
Upgrade Your Windows
Cool air escaping through windows is one of the primary reasons many central AC units have to work so hard. With cool air constantly leaving your home, your air conditioner has to work overtime in order to maintain your desired temperature. This is where energy efficient windows enter the equation. As the name suggests, these windows are designed to prevent the escape of conditioned air. By the same token, these windows also prevent warm air from escaping during the winter months, thus helping you save on heating costs. Additionally, energy-efficient windows help prevent hot air from outside from finding its way into your home. While investing in these convenient windows will require you to spend money in the short term, they will quickly save you enough in heating and cooling costs to make up for this.
If you don’t have much experience when it comes to window installation, it may be in your best interest to entrust this task to trained professionals. Fortunately, finding qualified individuals in your areas can be a breeze with the help of online handyman directories. Homeowners asking themselves, “How can I locate window replacement experts near me?,” are urged to consult the aforementioned resources.
Invest in Shading Screens
As evidenced by the previous tip, windows can have a significant effect on a home’s temperature, particularly throughout the summer months. Unsurprisingly, the sun’s powerful UV rays can heat things up if they’re able to find their way inside. Luckily, keeping this problem at bay is much easier – and affordable – than many homeowners realize. Outfitting your windows with shading screens can dramatically reduce the amount of UV rays that are able to enter your home. Shading screens can be particularly effective in areas of your home that receive a lot of sunlight.
Adding to their appeal, most shading screens are affordable on even the most stringent budget. Since these screens are often made out of paper, they tend to be relatively cheap to produce. Most screens can be purchased for under $10 and can last years – provided, of course, proper care is taken. If you’re not keen on the idea of blocking sunlight from your home indefinitely, you should at least consider using shading screens during the sun’s peak hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Take Proper Care of Your Air Conditioner
Depending on how hot temperatures get in your area, a functional air conditioner may be your best line of defense against extreme temperatures. While running your AC for long periods can be costly, it’s liable to be even costlier if the unit is not properly maintained. For example, air conditioners with dirty filters and/or worn-out parts need to expend more energy than well-maintained units, resulting in heightened cooling costs. With this in mind, make a point of regularly cleaning your air conditioner’s filter and having the device serviced by trained professionals at least once a year. These individuals will be able to administer a thorough cleaning and swap out any components that have fallen into disrepair, thereby helping your AC run more efficiently and reducing your energy bills.
A seasoned homeowner is no stranger to exorbitant cooling costs. If you live in an area that’s prone to swelteringly hot summertime temperatures, forking over a small fortune to keep your home cool every month may be par for the course. While many homeowners have essentially thrown in the towel and come to accept this as a fact of life, unreasonable cooling costs needn’t be the norm. As an added bonus, saving money, doing your part for the environment and keeping your home comfortably cool don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Whether you’re interested in cutting back on cooling costs or reducing your carbon footprint, the previously discussed pointers can get you where you need to go.