With the year 2016 looking like it's going to be another hot year, homeowners all over the country will be turning up the dial on their household air conditioning systems. Rising temperatures bring rising utility costs, and if you're like most modern homeowners, you want to do everything in your power to remain comfortable in spite of seasonal weather conditions yet keep costs at reasonable levels. Below are five strategies designed to let you keep your cool without burning money.
Use Household Appliances During the Evening
Stoves, dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers all generate heat, and this can keep your air conditioning system working higher than it needs to to keep your home interior cool on hot summer days. Running these appliances during the evening hours when outdoor temperatures are lower helps keep utility bills down. Avoid using the oven; if an item can be prepared using a toaster oven, microwave, or small slow cooker, use that appliance instead, even if you're cooking during the evening. These appliances also use less energy than a full-sized oven, so you'll save that way as well as keep indoor heat levels low.
Use Electric Fans
Using electric fans instead of central air conditioning helps keep utility costs lower. Consider using your air conditioning on truly hot days or parts of the day and using fans during times when outdoor temperatures are at more comfortable levels. Fans keep most people comfortable at an indoor temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Air circulation makes home interiors feel cooler, and many people enjoy leaving a window or two open with the fan going in order to circulate fresh air throughout the home.
Keep in mind, it is not wise to risk the safety of household occupants in order to save a few dollars and cents; carefully consider the crime rate in your area before you routinely open windows and doors to beat the summer heat. Thieves and other potential intruders frequently case homes during heat waves looking for easy access. Also, keep in mind that the elderly and infants may be more sensitive to high heat levels, and that using fans exclusively for temperature control probably won't work. Homeowners often experience success using a combination of ceiling fans and air conditioners.
Move to the Basement
If you're lucky enough to have a basement in your home, setting up a family activity area in it for use during hot summer days will allow you to stay cool and comfortable without racking up huge air conditioning costs. A seating area, a couple of computer desks, a refrigerator for cold drinks and snacks, and a flat screen TV on the wall is all you'll need in order to stay cool while outdoor temperatures soar.
Direct Heat from the sun shining on roofs and through windows is the major culprit in soaring indoor temperatures, so circumvent that by planting lush, leafy trees around your home's exterior. your air conditioner's efficiency could be increased by as much as 10 percent if you plant leafy trees near your home exterior. Instead of seedlings, which may take quite awhile to grow, purchase nursery trees that are already about 15 or 20 feet tall.
Paint Your Roof White
Save up to 30 percent on your electric bill by painting your roof white. White paint reflects the sun's rays rather than absorbing them into their surface and consequently causing home interior temperatures to rise. The average white roof reflects 85 percent of the sun's rays, while a black roof usually reflects on around 20 percent. On a 90 degree day, household temperatures can reach up to 115 degrees if a black roof is in the picture. The same home with a white roof will only reach about 80 degrees when it's 90 degrees outside, making the interior temperature actually cooler than the outdoor temperature.
For more information on controlling AC costs, contact companies like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating.