Posted on: 28 April 2016
While summer heat increases and monthly energy bills go up, you may find yourself wondering what options you have (short of moving to a cooler climate) to reduce the cost of your AC. It can be especially concerning if you're an environmentally conscious homeowner and realize that higher energy usage can mean more emissions. Use these five tips to help you reduce energy usage to keep your bills lower and help save the environment.
1. Shade your walls and roof.
Shading any areas of your house's exterior can help prevent heat absorption, meaning your AC unit will have less work to do. The roof is especially important because it's angled towards the sun and is most likely to catch direct sunlight head-on during the hotter parts of the day. You can plant shade trees for long-term solutions, shade parts of the roof with shade sails for a shorter-term solution, and use bushes and/or trellised vines to help shade walls. A "green roof," meaning one that's designed with plants growing on it, is also an option; the plants shade the roof from sunlight, instead capturing the light and using it in photosynthesis. This is a bigger project, though, since it involves replacing your roof.
2. Paint your roof.
In addition to blocking some of the sunlight that normally hits your roof, you may also be able to paint it a lighter color to help it reflect the sunlight rather than absorbing it. Unfortunately, this solution isn't recommended for asphalt shingle roofing, but it's a quick and easy solution for metal roofing. And a "cool roof coating" can work wonders as well; it's applied in a similar manner to paint but it's even more effective because it helps your roof reflect not only light rays but also thermal rays.
3. Insulate your walls and roof.
Like an insulated thermos for your iced coffee, a well-insulated house can help keep cool air cool so your AC won't have to re-cool it as frequently. Insulation in the attic is especially important due to the large amount of heat that your roof is likely to absorb. Even an adequately insulated house can become more energy efficient when additional insulation is added.
4. Use attic fans.
In the matter of keeping heat from coming into your house through the roof, a multi-pronged approach is best. In addition to beefing up insulation and lightening your roof's color, you can also use fans in the attic or crawl space to help disperse any heat that builds up before it gets into your living space. Use fans positioned at attic vents to blow excess heat outside.
5. Turn the thermostat up.
If you turn your ceiling fans on, you may find that you'll still be comfortable with the thermostat turned a degree or two higher than usual. And you can save a substantial amount of energy by turning the thermostat up when you leave for work in the morning so that your AC won't have to work as hard, then turn it down again to keep you comfortable in the evening. Using a programmable thermostat to automate this process can make it almost effortless.
These five tips will help you reduce the amount of energy your AC will need to use by reducing its workload. Of course, you'll have to maintain your AC system well if you want it to perform optimally, so be sure you change the AC filter frequently and get your ducts cleaned every year or two as well as having a professional perform scheduled maintenance on your unit each spring.
For more tips on painting your roof or installing vents or fans, contact a company like Ziparo Brothers Construction.Share