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Air-conditioning costs can skyrocket during sweltering summers and leave you hot under the collar. Even if you are diligent about performing seasonal maintenance on your HVAC system, your utility bills may still be higher than you’d like. Fortunately, you can reduce dependence on A/C equipment by taking advantage of supplementary cooling methods.

Use these five tips to discover ways you can boost the efficiency of your A/C:

1. Seal and Insulate Your Home

Your home’s envelope includes all the barriers that separate the inside from the outside. If the walls, doors, windows and ceilings of your home are insufficiently insulated and sealed, conditioned air leaks outside, increasing your utility bills. Begin by improving the insulation between your ceiling and the attic to reduce dependence on A/C equipment.

2. Replace Inefficient Appliances

Incandescent light bulbs, old refrigerators and electronic equipment emit heat, which causes your A/C to work overtime. Unplug unused electronic equipment, use energy-efficient light bulbs and consider upgrading your refrigerator.

3. Use Ceiling and Attic Fans

A simple way you can reduce dependence on A/C equipment is to use fans, which use less energy. Although fans do not cool rooms, they create a wind-chill effect in indoor environments that helps cool people.

4. Use ‘Cooler’ Roofing and Siding Colors

By choosing reflective roofing materials and light-colored siding, you may be able to decrease your cooling demand up to 15 percent.

5. Landscape for Comfort

You may be surprised to learn that the plants you choose for your landscaping can help keep your home cooler. Plant deciduous trees, tall shrubs or trellised plants on the south and west sides of your home to block the harsh rays from the afternoon sun.

Please call on the home comfort experts at Brennan’s Heating & Air to answer all your A/C questions.