Keeping a home cool through the summer can be a daunting task. After all, running an AC unit is one of the biggest utility costs that a homeowner has to contend with. If you want to free up room for other costs or to leave room for fun, finding ways to boost the efficiency of your AC unit is a great place to start. As an added benefit, whatever you do to reduce the need to run your AC unit will also reduce your maintenance costs.
Roofing Is a Mixed Bag
One way to reduce the need to run your AC unit is to reduce heat gain. A lot of heat can enter your home through your roof. An asphalt-shingle roof will absorb the sun's rays, convert the energy from the sun into the heat, and then allow that heat to enter into your home. By contrast, a metal roof will reflect some of the sun's energy away from your home. This will help to keep your home cool during the sumner. In fact, a metal roof can reduce your heat by as much as 40%, On the other hand, heat gain through your roof can help to warm your home during the winter, so if you live in the North, you may want to avoid a metal roof. They should work just fine for the South, though.
Windows Are a Safer Bet
Another place where heat will enter your home is through your windows. You can install double- or triple-pane windows, and while they will stop heat from exiting or entering your home, they will do nothing to stop the sun's UV rays from entering your home and then heating it up. By installing energy-efficient window film on your windows, you can reduce your cooling costs by up to 23%. As an ended benefit, the same film you use to keep the sun out can also help to reflect heat back into your home during the winter. This will help to reduce your heating costs by up 25%.
As you can see, small things can make a big difference in your monthly cooling costs. If you need any added incentive to spend some money reducing your cooling costs, reducing heat gain will reduce the need to run your AC equipment and, thus, reduce the wear and tear your equipment will incur. This means that you will save money on maintenance and replacement costs. Just because you have to run your AC equipment all through the summer does not mean that you have to pay an arm and a leg to do it.
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