Cooling Off Your Home with Minimal AC Use
When sweltering summer heat comes rolling around, many of us won’t hesitate to crank up the AC. However, while air conditioning is certainly a convenient tool for beating the heat, it isn’t always the most cost-effective home cooling solution. Although countless households have developed an overreliance on air conditioning, it’s often possible to get through the summer while keeping AC use and exorbitant energy bills to a minimum. So, if you’re looking to scale back AC usage this summer season, the following pointers are likely to come in handy.
Install Dependable Ceiling Fans Throughout Your Home
When it comes to minimizing AC usage, high-quality ceiling fans can prove invaluable. Although ceiling fans are often regarded as inferior to air conditioning, they can work in tandem with AC or function as independent cooling aids. For example, when used in cooperation with air conditioning, ceiling fans are able to effectively and efficiently distribute the cool air AC produces throughout your entire residence. Furthermore, when used on their own, ceiling fans can produce refreshingly cool breezes that flow directly downward – provided their blades have been adjusted to spin counterclockwise.
Good ceiling fans can also help you take advantage of nighttime cooldowns if you reside in an area where summertime temps take a dip once the sun goes down. Once the sun has set, simply open a few windows and let your fans circulate the naturally cool outdoor air throughout your home and provide your family with convenient overnight comfort.
Additionally, ceiling fan usage doesn’t have to be limited to indoor spaces. For example, if your home is equipped with a porch, you should start shopping for outdoor ceiling fans.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
These days, there’s very little benefit to using traditional incandescent light bulbs. While they come with lower price tags than energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs, they generally have much shorter lifespans. Conversely, while energy-efficient bulbs are slightly pricier, they last a lot longer and consume far less energy, thereby facilitating long-term savings. Although the desire to save money is understandable, you’re doing your finances no favors by continuing to purchase inefficient incandescent bulbs.
As an added bonus, energy-efficient bulbs tend to give off far less heat than their incandescent contemporaries. Needless to say, the difference is likely to be felt during periods of excessively warm weather. So, if you won’t make the switch to energy-efficient bulbs for the sake of reducing your household’s carbon footprint, you should consider doing it for the sake of reduced cooling costs and enhanced summertime comfort.
Tend to Your Windows
During the summer months, a significant amount of cool air is liable to escape through your windows, regardless of whether they’re opened or closed. In the interest of minimizing escaped air, consider outfitting your windows with high-quality weatherstripping and/or investing in sun-blocking window dressings. Such curtains, blinds and drapes are designed with energy-efficiency in mind and are composed of much thicker materials than traditional window dressings. In many cases, they’re also adept at drowning out noise from outdoors, so if you hail from an area with ample noise pollution, new window dressings can be a very worthwhile purchase.
If you’re open to replacing your current windows, it may be in your best interest to consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows. Because these windows contain multiple panes, they’re well-equipped to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from getting inside. They can also prove helpful during the winter months, when they can be used to seal in warm air and keep cool air at bay.
When shopping around for energy-efficient windows, it’s perfectly understandable that you’d be hit with a case of sticker shock. After all, energy-efficient can be fairly pricey. However, it’s worth remembering that these windows are a long-term investment and the savings they’ll facilitate over time should prove well worth any short-term financial setbacks.
It’s easy to see why so many of us have become over-dependent on air conditioning. After all, when it comes to home cooling solutions, few are as quick and convenient as AC. Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a cost – especially during the relentlessly hot summer months. Luckily, this doesn’t mean homeowners have to choose between staying cool and making a hole in their finances. Anyone looking to minimize AC use and maximize savings this summer will be well-served by the info outlined above.