6 Ways to Stay Cool—and Use Your AC Less

June 23, 2015

“I love running my AC more than I need to!” Said no one. Ever. 

Running your AC is expensive, and using it less often saves you energy and money–who doesn't love that?
 
Here are 6 ways to maximize your cool while keeping your energy costs at a minimum. 

Keep blinds/curtains closed

Sound simple? It is. And it’s effective. According to the Family Handyman, 30% of unwanted heat comes from your windows. So, keeping your blinds and curtains closed during peak daylight hours can deflect outside light and lower your indoor temp by up to 20 degrees.

Change your air filter

This is a small mistake that can cost you big: a dirty air filter. If you aren’t checking and changing your AC’s filter regularly, chances are you’ll find a thick blanket of dirt and dust covering the filter. 

Dirty filters restrict the airflow to your AC like bad lungs on a marathon runner. And less airflow into your AC means less cool air making its way into your home.

Open all air vents

You might have heard that closing vents in unused rooms is a good idea. It’s not. Closing air vents can:

  • Make you uncomfortable in other parts of your home
  • Cost you money
  • Damage your heating/cooling system

Read more about the risks of closing air vents.

Use ceiling fans properly

During summertime, your ceiling fan needs to be rotating counterclockwise–this creates a downward breeze to help moisture evaporate from your skin (which is what makes you feel cooler). 

Though a ceiling fan doesn't actually change the temperature of the room, it does move air, which makes you feel cooler (up to 4 degrees cooler in fact). 

And remember, ceiling fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them on when you’re in a room and off when you leave.

Place trees and plants strategically

Your house gets hot because the sun beats down on it. Let nature help reduce the sun’s impact by planting trees, plants or vines in front of windows. 
 
In fact, planting large deciduous trees on the east, west, and northwest sides of your home can reduce summer air conditioning costs by up to 35%.
 
Installing awnings in front of windows is another great way to reduce the amount of heat your home absorbs from the the sun. 

Buy an efficient air conditioner

Paying higher upfront costs for the most efficient unit possible (SEER 14 or higher) makes sense in the Kansas City area. Not only will your initial investment be paid back in energy savings over time, you’ll get the cool air you need with effectiveness you can rely on.  

Santa Fe Air Conditioning and Heating serves the Kansas City area. For more information, contact us online