If you take a close look at your home maintenance budget, you are likely to find that a bulk of that money goes to heating and cooling.
Of course, you can control those costs when you make sure that your AC unit is ready for the summer and when you schedule routine maintenance for your heating system before winter.
However, some home design, decorating, use, and maintenance tips don’t cost much (or anything,) but which will result in a cooler home during the summer.
Home Design for Comfort
Pay attention to where the windows are situated. West- and south-facing doors and windows can quickly heat up the home. Use this to your advantage during the winter. Plant trees or install awnings to shade those windows during the summer months.
Shade trees are beneficial during the cold weather as well; they provide protection as wind breaks, for example. Another design tactic that may reduce your summer cooling bills is to use light-colored roofing supplies.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that high-reflectance roofing can keep your home much cooler than dark roofing and helps you reduce your air conditioning requirements.
Decorate to Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs
Did you know that some paint products have insulating properties? As you decorate your home, look into insulating paint to reduce heat gain in areas that experience direct sun exposure. This step should not replace properly insulating your home but should enhance your existing insulation.
While you’re shopping for paint, focus on white which reflects the heat. If you can’t paint everything white, you may at least purchase white curtains and blinds. You may also be surprised to learn that synthetic carpeting adds to the warmth of homes and holds onto the heat during summer months.
Replace those carpets with wood flooring or rugs may from natural fibers. Switch out sheets for cotton bedding for cooler nights.
Develop Cost-Effective Habits
If you spend most of your time in one area of your home, close doors and vents to those rooms that don’t get used. By heating and cooling only part of your home, you can save a significant amount of your monthly heating and cooling bills.
Open those doors and windows at night to allow cooler air to flow through, cooling the home naturally. Restrict your use of appliances, such as dishwashers and televisions, until it’s cooler in the evening. Any appliances that aren’t in use should be turned off, otherwise, they’ll continue to heat the home.
Maintain Appliances for Savings
The maintenance habits you develop can prolong the life expectancy of your appliances and reduce your cooling bills. These should include:
- Keeping your outdoor unit free of debris and overgrown plants.
- Keeping indoor vents vacuumed and preventing anything from blocking them.
- Insulating ductwork and fixing any breaks in the seal.
- Cleaning the drain line to the cooling coil.
If you’re interested in keeping your home cool and making sure your AC unit is good to go for another year, don’t forget that there are several steps you can take. The ways you design and decorate, use your home, and maintain your appliances can positively affect your ability to afford and enjoy a cool comfortable home in the summer.