Don’t touch that air conditioner dial just yet! Why? Home Comfort Experts put together our list of five passive cooling techniques that can help keep your home cool without spiking your energy use. Follow these steps to keep your energy bill low and your comfort level high.
Draw the Blinds to Lower Your Home’s Temperature
Keep your blinds or curtains drawn during the hottest part of the day. Preventing a few extra rays of sun from sneaking in can make a huge difference in your inside temperature. Keep your blinds drawn from 12-4 p.m. to experience big savings.
Use Fans Throughout Your Home to Supplement the AC
Fans don’t actually make a room any cooler—they just make it feel cooler. As the breeze circulates around the room, it helps evaporate sweat and wick away body heat, leading to a more pleasant experience overall. Ceiling fans are the best at moving air, but box fans or stand fans are also effective. In a pinch, even an old-fashioned hand fan can work wonders.
Keep Warm Items Away from Thermostats
Your TV, computer and any other electric gadget emits heat. That’s why your computer has to have a fan, after all: to keep the processing unit from overheating. All those little bits of heat can add up, nosing your thermostat higher and making your air conditioner work harder. As much as possible, keep those items away from your thermostat, or better yet, unplug them all together when they’re not in use. Consider grilling out instead of heating up your oven for even bigger savings.
Insulation Helps Keep Warm Air Out
Most people only think of insulating their homes in the winter, when they can feel cold drafts. But hot air can creep in just as surely as cold. To find drafts, walk around the exterior of your house with a candle. When it flickers around doors or windows, that means air is moving. Add a small line of caulk or weather stripping to seal the leak.
Light Colored Homes Stay Cooler
Painting your house is not something you should do only to save on energy bills, but light-colored houses are cooler than dark ones. White reflects heat while dark colors absorb, just like when you wear a dark shirt on a sunny day. At a minimum, consider keeping your blinds and other window coverings light.
So there you have it, five tips to reduce strain on your air conditioner and pain in your wallet by using passive cooling techniques. Don’t forget to schedule your annual air conditioner maintenance check from Home Comfort Experts. After all, a few simple tweaks can keep your air conditioning unit running more efficiently and keep you from being stranded on a sultry summer day.