Overuse Your A/C? 4 Cost-Effective Methods for Cooling Down Your Home

The air conditioner is one of the most important systems in your home. Regardless of the climate, homeowners can keep the house at a comfortable temperature no matter what the weather throws at them. The problem, of course, is the cost; running the A/C at maximum capacity for hours on end, day after day, through a heat wave can leave the power meter spinning—and the checkbook shrinking. Here are some simple strategies to maintain comfort without the huge electric bills.

Older home - Overuse Your A/C? 4 Cost-Effective Methods for Cooling Down Your Home

Build to Be Cool

Many older homes were constructed in a time of lower electrical costs, so energy-efficient features could not be justified. It was cheaper just to run the air conditioner. Of course, that has now changed, and better insulation now pays for itself. That’s why many homeowners are converting to metal roofing shingles, adding insulation in attics, and upgrading windows and doors. Keeping heat out and cool in is the key to lowering A/C costs.

Landscape Wisely


Shade trees provide welcome relief from hot weather on a sunny day. The difference in temperature beneath their limbs is dramatic, so it’s no surprise that one good long-term investment in cooling a home is shade trees. Positioned on the southern aspect of the house, a mature shade tree can dramatically lower the cost of cooling a home. Strong, sturdy oaks or maples will provide years of savings on a home’s energy costs.

Isolate Unused Rooms

A strategy that works great for cutting energy costs all year is to close off rooms that aren’t used frequently. Guest rooms, formal dining rooms, and other often-empty spaced should be closed off with blinds closed so that their exposure to the outside doesn’t contribute to the temperature in the rest of the house. The same is true with even smaller spaces, like closets.

Manage Sunlight - Overuse Your A/C? 4 Cost-Effective Methods for Cooling Down Your Home

Manage Sunlight

Many people like to open the blinds first thing in the morning to see what kind of weather the day holds. There’s nothing wrong with that, but unless they are closed again, they allow the sun to heat the home for nine or ten hours while no one is home. Homes with the blinds left shut during the day will stay much cooler.

Nothing ruins the enjoyment of a comfortable home quite like a huge electric bill. Fortunately, things like shade trees, metal roofing, and closing your blinds can go a long way toward helping provide the cool air everyone wants without the big electric bills that nobody wants.

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