3 Ways To Reduce Your Reliance On Air Conditioning

by Cheryl Dunn

Paying for your air conditioning is one of the biggest expenses you can have on your monthly energy bill. And while you may have thought of ways to keep the air conditioning off more often, you may be looking for a more permanent solution. So here are three ways you can reduce or eliminate the use of air conditioning in your home.

Roofing -- Although it may seem tangential, the material and sealants you use for your roofing can affect the temperature of your home during hot summer months. One way to reduce the temperature in your house is to consider installing an aluminium roof, which reflects heat and can lower the temperature in your house when it's hot. Another investment you should make is to seal your roof with a reflective sealant that's designed to reflect the sun's rays instead of absorbing them. Recently, there's also been a 'green roof' movement, in which a layer of vegetation is installed on top of your roofing material, to absorb excess heat and act as a natural insulator.

Install Energy Efficient Windows -- In the drive to be more 'green,' many window manufacturers have developed energy efficient windows, which typically have a solar control coating, double or triple-paned glass and hinge styles that promote tighter seals to prevent air from escaping or coming inside. For example, awning-style hinges open out, and have a tighter seal due to the fact that the sash locks into the frame. Fixed hinges are even better because they don't open at all, so there's no way for air to leak out, but the disadvantage is that you won't be able to air out your room when the weather is nice.

You can also select energy efficient windows that are tinted, which is the process of placing a film over the glass that reflects the sun and protects your rooms from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Windows are a huge factor in reflecting heat away from your home to help cool your residence and reduce your reliance on air conditioning.

Fan It Up -- Invest in a number of different fans, including ceiling fans and standing fans for all your bedrooms and for the living room as well. Ceiling fans are optimal in low-humidity settings. In regions with high humidity, the fans circulate moist air, but they are an effective way to keep you feeling cooler, even if they don't actually lower the interior temperature of your home. But remember that the goal is to get you comfortable enough with your perception of 'feeling cool,' so that you can turn off your air conditioner, or raise the setting on your air conditioner for less frequent use.

If you live in a particularly hot area of the country and find that you cannot go without air conditioning, consider having an HVAC technician, such as Domination Air, inspect your air conditioning unit. They will be able to tune it up to make it more energy efficient.