As we navigate through hot summers, many look for effective ways to cool their homes without incurring high electricity costs. Proper maintenance and smart cooling strategies can significantly reduce your electric bill and enhance the efficiency of your home's air conditioning (A/C) system.

1. Conduct Regular Maintenance - Consistently changing or cleaning your air filters, whether they are fiberglass or the more efficient pleated type, is crucial to ensuring proper air flow and cooling. Doing so not only maintains air quality, but also prevents strain on your A/C system.

2. Understand Your Air Conditioner - Air conditioners function by transferring heat from the inside to the outside of your home. This process, similar to a refrigerator, involves the use of refrigerant which alternates between liquid and gas states.

3. Upgrade Older Systems - For older systems using R-22 Freon, consider budgeting for an upgrade. Since the manufacturing and import of R-22 are now banned, the costs for recycled Freon have skyrocketed.

4. Look for SEER Ratings - Modern cooling equipment typically has higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER), indicating better energy efficiency.

5. Identify Common A/C Issues - Low refrigerant charge, dirty air filters or blocked airflow around the exterior compressor unit are common issues that can impair your A/C system's efficiency.

6. Get Annual Professional Servicing - Just like a car, your A/C system will operate more efficiently and have a longer lifespan if it's regularly serviced by a qualified HVAC professional.

7. Perform Exterior Unit Maintenance - Ensure there is a minimum of 24 inches of clearance around the exterior unit for optimal airflow. We recommend regular trimming of nearby vegetation. When conducting home inspections, we ensure the A/C system is functioning correctly by checking compressor sounds, temperature readings and air filter condition.

8. Enhance Home Insulation - Proper insulation is key to efficient cooling. Most older homes lack sufficient insulation compared to modern standards. Adding insulation in your attic can be a cost-effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

9. Insulate Attic Access - Ensure your attic is also adequately insulated to prevent heat transfer in this particularly vulnerable spot of your home.

10. Get an Infrared (IR) Scan - Consider using WIN’s Infrared (IR) Scan as part of our annual Healthy Home Check for homeowners to detect areas of missing insulation in your home. Our Infared (IR) Scan uses thermography to gauge electrical hotspots, indicative of fire starters, and cold spots, indicative of insulation gaps and water damage. Call your local WIN Home Inspector today for more information on service offerings and Healthy Home Check.

11. Run a Dehumidifier - High humidity levels can overwork your A/C system. Dehumidifiers reduce moisture and cool the air.

12. Avoid Indoor Air Drying - Air drying clothes inside can increase indoor humidity. Ensure your dryer vents to the outside.

13. Use Ceiling Fans - Ceiling fans can make a room feel cooler and take some load off your A/C system.

14. Plant Trees Strategically - Plant deciduous trees on the south and southwest sides of your home to provide natural shade and subsequent cooling in the summer.

15. Use Window Treatments - Closing blinds, shades, or drapes, especially on east, south, and west-facing windows, can block hot sun rays and reduce indoor temperature.

16. Seal and Weatherstrip - Ensure all doors, windows and other openings are properly sealed to prevent air leaks.

Incorporating these tips into your home cooling strategy can lead to significant savings on your electric bill while maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. Regular maintenance of your A/C system, combined with smart energy practices, will not only enhance the efficiency of your cooling system, but also contribute to the overall energy efficiency of your home.

Author Bio:

WIN Home Inspection

WIN Home Inspection is the #1 ranked inspection services company in the U.S. and is proud to provide essential home inspection services to home buyers, homeowners and home sellers in 45+ states nationwide.

© WIN Home Inspection