Air conditioning is, no doubt, a necessity. It may even serve as a lifeline in places where the heat can be deadly, like Texas or anywhere along the Sunbelt.
But with planet-warming emissions hitting a record high in 2018, cutting down on energy use should be in everyone’s New Year’s resolution.
It only makes sense given that ACs use the most energy (about 47 percent) in a home and even stoke up the heat in cities at night.
So does that mean you should forgo air conditioning altogether?
Absolutely not. It’s only a matter of being strategic about how you use your appliances and reacquainting yourself with earth- and wallet-friendly ways to stay cool.
If you want 2019 to be the year you don’t sweat over high energy bills, take heed of these tips:
See If Your AC Needs a Tune-Up
Air conditioners including central, ductless, hybrid, and portable units are prone to dust and debris build-up. Without proper, regular maintenance, your unit will become less efficient and more likely to breakdown when you need it the most.
It may even be costing you money without your knowledge. Get a handle on all these issues by regularly checking up on your AC. Clean it as often as you can and consult with the pros about ways to enhance its performance.
Use Your AC Wisely
A more effective way to use your air conditioner is to use it sparingly. Like all machines, AC’s have limited lifespans that are cut short by overuse, misuse, and neglect. Making your unit work harder than it should only lead to additional expenses and inconveniences.
Gauge the temperature inside and outside your home before you decide to use artificial cooling. If it’s manageable, use a fan instead, or keep the AC on for a couple of hours with the temperature cranked up.
Keep the windows close so cool air stays longer. In nice weather, turn off the AC and open the windows for some cool but zero-cost days.
Heed Ancient Wisdom
There are a number of traditional cooling methods that prove to be useful up to this day. From porches and cross-ventilation to shady courtyards and breezeways, the options are endless. Find out what hot climate devices were used in your area or take inspiration from ancient architecture worldwide.
You’ll be amazed by how our ancestors found summertime relief without burning an ounce of fossil fuel.
Or, turn to time-tested techniques of orientation, screening, shading, and wind-catching. The dogtrot house of the southern US is one source of inspiration.
It’s a modest, one-story home where the cooking and dining areas are separated from the living spaces by a large passage open to the breeze.
Invest in Smart Home Technology
Home tech is increasing in popularity and for good reason. It’s cool in every sense of the word. If you have an Energy Star-certified unit, it may already have a programmable timer and thermostat, so take advantage of these features.
Buy yourself an IoT device this Christmas and take full control of your home cooling for the years to come. If your unit is dated, this may be the year to reflect on your carbon footprint and consider energy upgrades.
Air conditioning has, in many ways, improved people’s lives, especially in the South where heat is a much more acute problem
But overworking your AC heats up the planet and burns your budget. Follow these tips and you won’t have to compromise on comfort.
Better yet, start the year right with a comprehensive energy audit of your house from Cowboy Services AC & Heating. Contact us for more details.