It’s easy to see why so many households regard air conditioning as their only weapon against sweltering summer heat. After all, AC offers what is arguably the fastest and most effective method of home cooling. However, copious AC use also serves to dramatically increase your home’s carbon footprint and exponentially increase your utility costs. Of course, this isn’t to say that you should never rely on air conditioning, but neither should it be viewed as your sole cooling aid. As you’ll find, it’s entirely possible to survive the summer with minimal AC use and save yourself a bundle in the process.
Have Your AC System Serviced Once a Year
Like any other piece of heavy-duty machinery, your central air conditioning system will need to be serviced on a regular basis in order to operate at peak efficiency. The less serious you are about consistent maintenance, the more likely you are to find yourself on the receiving end of some exorbitant repair bills. Having your central AC system serviced at least once a year helps ensure that any worn-down parts get swapped out in a timely manner, the system stays nice and clean and any small problems are taken care of before they’re able to become costlier issues. While it’s true that annual service visits will entail parting with a little bit of money, this small financial sacrifice can ultimately save you a fortune in the long run.
Although annual service visits can go a long way towards keeping your AC system issue-free, they shouldn’t be viewed as an end-all solution to potential problems. That being the case, if your AC begins exhibiting issues, it’s in your best interest to have the problem checked out in an expedient fashion. Again, spending money on such things is never fun, but doing so can save you a bundle down the line and help prevent your AC system from dying prematurely.
Keep Your Curtains Closed During the Day
The more sunlight that finds its way into your home, the warmer indoor temps are likely to become. This is particularly true during the blazingly hot summer months. As such, you should take active measures to minimize the amount of sunlight that enters your home during the sun’s peak hours. One way to do this is by keeping your curtains and/or blinds firmly closed during the day. However, if your current window dressings are made of thin materials, this may not prove sufficient.
If this is indeed the case, consider outfitting your windows with blackout curtains. True to their name, these curtains are created for the express purpose of keeping interior sunlight to a minimum. If replacing your current curtains strikes you as an unattractive prospect, you may want to look into cost-effective blackout screens. Furthermore, if curtains aren’t your window dressing of choice, you’ll be pleased to learn that blackout drapes and blackout shades are also readily available. As an added bonus, all of these options are affordable on even the tightest budget.
Invest in Good Ceiling Fans
High-quality ceiling fans should factor prominently into your summertime cooling plans. By outfitting every area of your home with a dependable ceiling fan, you can effectively circulate cool air all around your house. Also, unbeknownst to many of us, adjusting a ceiling fan’s blades to turn counterclockwise will enable it to create a cooling breeze that flows downward.
Since ceiling fans are available in a convenient array of sizes, finding the right fan(s) for any given area of your home shouldn’t prove daunting in the slightest. For instance, if your home has very limited ceiling space, just start searching for small ceiling fans.
Going straight for the AC when the temperature starts to warm up is a common reaction to summer weather. Furthermore, there are times when cranking up the air conditioning is absolutely necessary. Still, this doesn’t mean that AC should be the only cooling aid you rely on. Not only can this prove detrimental to your household’s conservation efforts, it can also eat into your finances. If you’ve relied solely on air conditioning for years, opening yourself up to other cooling tools may seem like a difficult proposition. However, as you’ll quickly discover, getting through the summer with minimal use isn’t nearly as daunting as you may think.