Summer is around the corner and every homeowner in Phoenix, AZ is contemplating on how to keep their homes cool at the lowest budget. The U.S Department of Energy asserts that energy and cooling costs may account for 43% of your budget. As you prepare to keep the heat wave as low as you can, consider adopting tips that will keep your bank account safe from being drained by the cooling costs. Here’s how you’ll save energy and ultimately reduce cooling costs this summer:
Replace your energy-inefficient air conditioner
Are you still putting up with the air conditioner you bought ten years ago? If you’ve noted, it may be incurring higher cooling costs than it did when new. Replacing it now with a new one will save you from paying unreasonably higher energy costs today, and in the next decade or so. With time, you’ll find that the purchase price of the air conditioner will soon offset the additional cooling costs, and you can enjoy the rest of its lifetime with significantly reduced costs. Additionally, ensure your new unit has an Energy Star model. Units with the model are rated for energy efficiency. Ensure that your new air conditioner has a SEER of at least 13 and an EER of at least 8. A unit with a higher number of SEER and EER has a higher rate of energy efficiency.
Use CFL bulbs
Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs consume little energy, compared to incandescent bulbs. If your house has incandescent bulbs, it’s time to replace them. Incandescent bulbs release much heat. Cooling the extra heat prompts increased cooling costs.
Plant leafy trees around the house
Well planted and positioned trees, vines, bushes and trellises not only save cooling costs, but also create an exquisite landscape for your home’s exterior. The trees create a shade that blocks direct sunlight from hitting the roof and windows. More coverage of leafy trees creates a greenhouse effect, which gives you a cooler home. Your air conditioner will have an easy time regulating the already cool temperatures created by the shade.
To protect direct sunlight from reaching the windows, you can use window films, solar screens or insulating curtains. Solar screens block up to 70% of solar energy. Window films are also effective, but they can only work with shut windows. Insulating curtains are more effective in saving cooling costs, but they may block the so much needed light from reaching your living room. However, they’re effective in rooms that don’t need much light like the bedroom.
Maintain your air conditioner effectively
Once in a while, say like 2 or 3 years, let a professional plumber tune, check controls and refrigerant levels, as well as clean your air conditioner. Besides saving cooling costs, a regular check on the air conditioner helps prevent faults and consequently, extend its span.
Cover any holes
Ensure all unnecessary holes are fully covered. These holes can be found around windows and doors. They can also be present in the roof or any other opening. These vents tend to spew out cold air, hence requiring more cold air to cool your house. Plugging up the holes can be done using a plastic film available at your nearest plumbing store. Shut all the doors and vents of unused rooms always. By doing so, you’ll have saved up to 20% of the cooling costs.
A combination of these tips will save significant cooling costs of your house this summer. While most of them are less costly, their effects will leave your house energy efficient, and your bank accounts won’t be drained superfluously.