AC efficiency is a key component of saving money on your utility costs, and many people focus on their AC unit in their efforts to drive down utility bills. If you truly want to keep your home cool, you need to understand how it gets hot in the first place. Using shade, upgrading your roofing, and installing low-e window film on your windows can all help to keep your home cool, so your AC unit doesn't have to work as hard.
How to Get the Most from Shade
Randomly planting trees around your yard won't give you any sort of an advantage when it comes to keeping your home cool. Instead, you have to think about how your home is oriented to the sun, and what you can do to improve your home's defenses. For example, if you are living in the northern hemisphere, the strongest sun will come from the south, so you will want to plant tall trees with a big crown on the south side of your house to help block the sun. Furthermore, you should consider planting tall trees with limbs all along the trunk on the west side of your home to block the evening sun.
Install Metal Roofing
If you have asphalt roofing on your home, then you are paying too much to keep your home cool. The problem with asphalt roofing is that it absorbs heat from the sun, and then conducts that heat into your home. Metal roofing is naturally reflective and will deflect much of the sun's energy away from your home. In this way, metal roofing can help you to save up to 25% on your cooling costs.
Improve Your Windows
The sun's UV rays can pass right through your windows and then heat up the interior surfaces of your home. To prevent this, you should consider installing low-e window film, which can reduce your cooling costs by up to 23%.
If you can prevent your home from heating up, you can reduce the load on your AC unit, and the less your AC unit has to run, the more you save on your utility costs. If you are looking for a good place to start improving your home's energy efficiency, start with window film. It is the least expensive of the options discussed above and will give you immediate results. You can then add trees and upgrade your roofing as you have