As any homeowner can confirm, efficiently cooling a home throughout the summer months can be an arduous undertaking. The hotter your locale, the more you can expect to pay in monthly cooling costs. While there’s no magic wand alternative to good air conditioning, there are a number of ways to relieve your home’s AC of some of its burden and save yourself a small fortune in the process. If cost-effective cooling solutions are what you’re after, take care to avoid the following mistakes this summer.
Neglecting AC Maintenance
As is the case with any other essential appliance, your central cooling unit will need to be serviced on a regular basis in order to properly operate. Unfortunately, far too many households allow AC maintenance to fall by the wayside and refuse to enlist the aid of seasoned pros unless something goes horribly wrong. While the desire to save money is certainly understandable in such economically challenging times, placing AC maintenance on the backburner is liable to result in an insufficiently cooled home, costly repairs, and premature replacements.
To avoid these issues, make a point of sticking to your central cooling unit’s manufacturer-recommended service schedule. This may entail spending a little bit of money every year, but this short-term financial sacrifice can result in long-term savings. Experienced heating and cooling professionals will be able to diagnose and repair a wide range of problems in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Failure to Properly Utilize Ceiling Fans
Although most homes have ceiling fans, many families fail to utilize these devices to their fullest potential. While many of us regard fans as a poor substitute for AC, dependable ceiling fans can function as game-changing cooling aids if properly utilized. For example, cranking up your AC does not mean you should turn off your fans. Keeping ceiling fans installed in key areas running while your AC is on helps circulate cool air throughout your home. Additionally, if your home lacks AC or your family limits air conditioner use to emergency situations, try setting your fan blades to rotate counterclockwise. This will effectively push air downward and create a cooling breeze instead of simply circulating hot air.
Furthermore, ceiling fans aren’t limited to indoor functionality. If your home features an enclosed porch or patio, installing some outdoor ceiling fans is likely to prove worth your while. Outdoor fans can prove particularly convenient for families that enjoy dining outdoors or lounging outside during the balmy summer months.
Keeping Your Blinds Open During Daylight Hours
Opening up curtains and blinds during daylight hours can be a great way to take advantage of the sun’s natural light. At the same time, however, the powerful UV rays stand to increase the temperature in your home, particularly throughout the summertime. With this in mind, take care to keep your window dressings closed until the sunsets. If your home is in an area that receives an overpowering amount of sunlight, you may want to look into purchasing blackout shades, screens, or curtains. These handy window dressings are specially designed to keep sunlight at bay and are sure to prove useful all season long.
Using Your Oven on a Regular Basis
For dedicated at-home chefs, a good oven is an essential tool. In fact, many of us can’t even imagine what our meal prep process would look like in the absence of a dependable oven. However, as convenient as ovens are, the immense heat they give off stands to make homes even hotter during the summer. For this reason, it’s recommended that you limit oven usage throughout the summer months, particularly during daytime hours. As a silver lining, limited oven use will provide you with a chance to step up your outdoor grilling game.
If you live in an area that’s prone to extreme heat, getting through the summer on a budget can prove challenging, to say the least. While AC is arguably the easiest and most effective way to keep your residence consistently cool, it’s also the priciest. Needless to say, shelling out a small fortune in cooling costs each month is liable to gobble up your summertime entertainment budget in no time. Fortunately, by embracing alternative cooling solutions, you can give your AC a much-needed break and save yourself a bundle in the process. Homeowners looking to cool down their abodes while conserving their finances should steer clear of the previously discussed blunders.