Every summer, families across the country shell out a pretty penny for their electric air conditioning. For many people, the payout is worth it – who wants to sit around in the heat for months? While there are a number of adjustments you can make to your habits that can result in lower bills, there is one major component driving your electric air conditioning costs that isn’t so easily changed – the design of your home. Read on to learn more.
One Size Fits All
Have you noticed that when you travel around the United States, most homes look alike no matter where you are? When it comes to new construction, you can find the same design anywhere from sweltering Texas to frigid North Dakota. That’s unfortunate, because the layout of a home plays a critical role in its heating and cooling functions. Instead of planning for the climate, however, many home builders simply rely on electric air conditioning as a one-size-fits-all solution.
“The air conditioner allows architects to be lazy,” Professor Cameron Tonkinwise of Carnegie Mellon School of Design told the Mother Nature Network. “We don’t have to think about making a building work, because you can just buy a box.”
Let Your Windows do the Work
The lost opportunity in many residential construction plans is that designers over-emphasize the cooling power of electric air conditioning and fail to take advantage of efficiencies achievable through home design. For example, building a home that allows good cross ventilation and includes a dehumidifier can do wonders for keeping cool, even in very hot and humid climates, while reducing the burden on AC equipment and utility bills.
For most homeowners, it’s too late to dramatically alter their layout and design. However, if you’re considering renovations, or are building a new home from scratch, avoid the temptation to let the HVAC system take care of all your climate control. Instead, consider designing elements of the home to best fit in with your local climate. Even a minor project like replacing windows with models that allow for better ventilation can go a long way in increasing your comfort and decreasing your bills.
The Experts Can Lend a Hand
If you need tips on how to upgrade your home to get the most from your electric air conditioner, or ideas for efficiencies in your current layout, call your trusted HVAC specialist today.