Solar heat gain is the primary culprit of driving up the temperature inside your home. The more your home heats up, the more your AC has to work to cool it back down. Finding ways to keep your home from heating up in the first place is the key to keeping your cooling costs down. Understanding how heat gets into your home in the first place will inform a strategic approach to heat proofing your home.
The insulation in your attic will trap heat in the attic. Even with the right amount of insulation, some heat from your attic will leak into your home. To determine if your attic is getting too hot, you should hang a thermometer in your home. If your attic is reaching temperatures of over 120 degrees, you should install an attic vent fan to keep your attic cool and give your AC unit a break.
Shade Your Condenser Coils
As your condenser coils heat up under the direct assault of the sun's rays, your condenser fan has to work harder to cool your coils back down so that they can then cool the freon running through them. Simply building a wall around your coils will block airflow and do nothing to decrease the ambient temperature around your coils. On the other hand, if you plant a tree to block the sun's rays, you will reap two benefits. Shaded objects will stay cooler than objects that are subjected to the full brunt of the sun's attic. As importantly, trees cool the air through the process of evapotranspiration. The air thus cooled will then be available to the condenser fan which pushes the relatively cool air over the condenser coils. These two benefits will help to keep your condenser coils work more efficiently than would otherwise be possible.
Cover Your Windows with Reflective Film
Window films filter out UV rays before they have a chance to heat up your home. Simply by installing window films, you can reduce your cooling costs by up to 23%.
If your home never heats up, your AC unit never has to run. Not only would this keep your cooling costs down, but it will decrease the wear and tear on your system and thus reduce the need for repairs. While preventing your home from heating up altogether might be too much to hope for, any steps you take to keep your home cool will reward you with lower cooling costs.
Contact a local heating and air conditioning repair service to learn more.