As specialists in air conditioning repair in Gainesville, as well as residents, we know that summer can get hot. Brutally, uncomfortably, insufferably hot. When the mercury starts to rise, we have essentially 2 choices. We can either crank up the air conditioning or leave Florida for a few months. Neither choice is that great from a financial perspective, considering that the average monthly electrical bill in Florida is $123. That’s over 14% higher than the national average, which is a bill of just $107.
Over time, that $123 per month will add up, and we know you have better things to spend your money on than that. So what can you do about it? Glad you asked since we’re in the same boat. While it’s important to be comfortable, we’d like to spend as little as possible. Keep reading for a few things you can do to reduce the costs of your air conditioning.
- We don’t think you’ll be too surprised to learn this, but a large percentage of what heats your house is sunshine coming through windows or beating upon the roof. A great way to handle that is by planting leafy trees around the exterior of your home. This solution is sustainable, and it increases the curb appeal of your home. If you can also shade your air conditioning unit, you can increase its efficiency by 10%.
- But what if planting a bunch of trees isn’t a realistic option? Consider installing solar screens on your windows. Simply put, these are screens made from a mesh-like material, and they are designed to block up to 70% of solar radiation before it makes it inside your home. These are highly effective for windows facing East and West. There’s an extra added bonus because they are great at keeping insects out.
- It’s okay to keep the temperature low on your thermostat when you’re home. But consider letting the temperature go up when nobody’s there. If you raise the temperature setting on the thermostat while you’re away, you can save between 5%-15% since the a/c doesn’t need to work as hard on cooling.
- Running fans is good, but running fans in the right spots are better. If you have a one-story home, close windows near where the fan is located, and open up windows further away. For multistory homes, turn fans on upstairs and open windows downstairs. The circulating air will help to evaporate sweat from your skin, and it is known to be one of the most efficient cooling methods there is.
- Since warm air rises, if you’ve got a basement, spend quality time within it. With a couch, a cold drink, and a TV or good book, you can beat the heat effectively. Just don’t open any basement windows, since warm air can create condensation on cool surfaces and actually boost humidity levels.
- When it comes to meals, forget about baking or stove-top cooking. Instead, either have cool meals or use your microwave. Your stove can generate a lot of heat and make things uncomfortable. If you do need to cook, try to do it after the sun has gone down. After cooking, turn on your kitchen exhaust for a few minutes. That will help to remove the heat and keep you feeling cool.