Paying too much to keep your house cool or for hvac repair can have a real dampening effect on your summer plans. If you want to make room in your budget, you can take steps to improve the function of your AC system. Planting trees strategically and using window film can help.
Plant Trees That Provide Shade
Solar heat gain is one of the biggest culprits behind heating up your house during the summer. As UV rays rain down on your roof, your roof absorbs heat from the sun, and some of that heat leaks into your home. By planting tall trees with large crowns on the south side of your home, you can block the sun for most of the day; and simply keeping the surfaces of your home in the shade will keep them cooler than they otherwise would be.
Put Trees by the Condenser for Evapotranspiration
The condenser coils on the outside of your home use a fan to blow air from your yard over a set of fins, which allows the fins to cool the freon running through them. As the freon cools, it converts to a liquid and is then ready to cycle back to your evaporator coils. The hotter the air is outside, the longer it takes for your condenser unit to cool down the freon running through it. Trees cool the air through a process known as evapotranspiration. Thus, by planting trees around your condenser unit, you can help it to run more efficiently.
Install Window Film Filters
Your roof is one place where solar heat gain can be a problem and your windows are another. The sun's UV rays can pass right through window glass and heat up the inside of your home. If you install low-emission window film on your windows, it will filter out UV rays without hurting your view of the outside world. You will still get plenty of natural light, but you can decrease your cooling costs by as much as 23%.
When you plant trees, it may take a while for the trees to get big enough to shade your roof, but trees are a one-time cost that can still help to save money. If you are looking for something that will have a more immediate effect on your cooling costs, then you should buy and apply window film to your windows. The more steps you take to help keep your home cool, the less money you have to spend to cool it back down.