Two Ways to Get the Most Out of Your New AC Unit
Installing an AC unit is a great way to keep a home cool, but the truth is that air-conditioning installation is just one component of keeping your home cool. If you simply flip the switch on your thermostat and leave all of the work up to your AC unit, you will end up paying more than you should have to pay to fight off the heat. The key to optimizing AC unit function is to realize that an air conditioner is designed to cool your house down once heat gain has started to elevate the temperature. Thus, if you can stop heat gain in its tracks, you can lessen the burden on your AC unit.
If you are replacing the AC in an existing home, then your hands are somewhat tied. Improving insulation or replacing your roof comes with a major cost. On the other hand, installing window film is not expensive, but it can make a big impact on how much you spend on your AC. The typical window film will cost between $4–$6 a square foot. Thus, you should be able to buy enough window film to cover at least a few windows at a time until you have covered all of your windows. In return, window film will reduce the amount of energy you spend on cooling by up to 23%.
One of the primary culprits responsible for driving up the heat in your home is the sun. The sun will heat up your roof and stream in through your windows, and in both instances it will drive up the temperatures inside of your home. Planting tall trees to the south of your house will block the noonday sun, and planting trees with limbs all along their trunks to the west of your house will help to block the evening sun. You will also want to make sure that you plant trees to shade your AC condenser unit. Not only will shade help to boost the function of your unit, but trees will cool the air through the process of evapotranspiration and thus make sure your condenser coils have a large volume of cool air to use for cooling the refrigerant your system depends on to keep your home cool.
While planting trees may not yield immediate results, the key is to do what you can, whatever you can, to improve the function of your AC unit. You owe it to yourself not to overpay to keep your home cool.