Start From the Outside and Work In
Despite pummeling your house with oppressive heat most of the year, nature is actually your friend when it comes to keeping temperatures cool indoors. Though Arizona isn’t known for its lush vegetation, there are a number of bushes and trees that thrive in this climate.
So, doing a bit of homework on which plant varieties do the double work of looking great with your landscaping and stand up to dry heat will yield benefits for keeping your home cool.
And a few tweaks to your outdoor environment will also keep your air conditioner from working overtime, preventing the need for repairs and keeping utility costs low.
Here are a few tips from our air conditioning contractors:
- Plant Trees and Shrubs – By planting shrubs and deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home, the leaves create shade that blocks direct sunlight. Additionally, planting trees and shrubs in strategic areas, such as around air conditioning units that radiate heat, and hot surfaces like sidewalks and driveways that absorb heat, can dramatically reduce nearby indoor temperatures. When placing trees near the air conditioning unit, however, we recommended planting approximately three feet from the unit. The extra space keeps the overgrowth from touching the system and allows room for our technicians to work.
- Check the Attic Insulation – Your Phoenix home will be much more comfortable, more consistently, if your attic insulation is up to standard. It’s okay to add insulation on top of existing batts or blown-in insulation as well. If you don’t know your attic insulation’s R-value, talk to one of our contractors. It should be around R-30 in order to provide the best protection from heat entering through the roof.
- Seal Those Air Leaks – Take a walk around your home and find opportunities for weatherstripping. Seal or caulk drafty windows, door gaps, and be sure to insulate often overlooked areas like attic hatches. Check outlet covers for foam gaskets – these prevent hot air from entering the house, and cool air from leaving it.
- Energy Efficient Appliances – Appliances radiate heat, especially the ones that run all day. If within your budget, swap old appliances for new, energy-efficient models that give off far less heat. This applies to air conditioning units as well. Newer, more efficient models do a better job of minimizing the heat they create while keeping your indoor environment cooler. If your unit is more than twelve years old, it could be time to replace it. Newer units use around 40 percent less power than older models. Our contractors can help you determine the unit’s SEER rating and whether a central system, or mini-splits are best for your home.
Our air conditioning contractors are here to keep you cool year round
There are a number of ways to stay more comfortable indoors. And we’re happy to offer advice remind you that regular maintenance on your air conditioning system is a major factor in keeping you and your family comfortable all year long.