If you live in a temperate zone, daytime temperatures can get hot enough to necessitate an air conditioner. On the other hand, at night you might be able to keep your home cool simply by opening your windows. In order to optimize the efficiency of your AC unit and to take full advantage of the relief from the heat that the night affords, you need a strategic approach to cooling your home.
Solar heat gain is one of the main culprits behind heating up your home during the summer. If you can take steps to reduce the effects of heat gain, you can keep your home cooler and reduce the amount of energy you use to cool your home. By planting trees on the south side of your home, you can screen the noon sun, and by planting trees on the west side of your house you can block the evening sun. Shade can keep the outside surfaces of your home up to 35 degrees cooler than they otherwise would be, and the cooler your home is on the outside, the less heat transfers to the inside.
Trees can also keep your home cool through the process of evapotranspiration. Trees release water vapor into the air, and this vapor will then absorb heat from the surrounding air. The cooled air will then settle onto what lies below.
Relief from a House Fan
Contractors can install a house fan by cutting a hole through your ceiling to the attic. In this position a house fan can vent heat out of your home. When the outside temperature begins to fall, all you have to do is shut off your AC unit, open your windows, and turn on the house fan. A correctly sized house fan will cool your home in a matter of minutes by pumping heat out through the attic even as it pulls cool air in through your windows. Because a house fan uses a fraction of the electricity that an AC unit does, you can save money on your cooling costs by running the house fan at night.
A multi-layered approach to cooling your home will provide more cost-effective cooling than an approach that relies solely on an air conditioner. If you have to cope with high daytime temperatures, you can't very well do without an AC unit, but you can complement the function of an AC unit by correctly using shade and using a house fan for nighttime relief from the heat. For more information, contact a professional like Dodds Heating & Cooling.