As the mercury rises, you do what you can to keep your home cool and comfortable. This means cranking the air conditioner as high as it can go in some cases. The heat assault continues outside, but you are cool and collected in the confines of your home. But there is still the smell of perspiration in the air. And why is that? It’s because you hear your air conditioner running and the sound of your bank account drying up because of rising utility costs.

The cost to heat and cool your home accounts for about half of your home’s energy use. You can choose to stay comfortable this summer or you can choose to sweat it out and save money. But your best bet is to find the happy medium of keeping your house cool and saving a little money. Total Care Heating and Air, your AC repair service in Riverside, offers these tips on saving money in air conditioning costs.

Plant Some Trees

Most of the heat that accumulates in your home comes from the sun shining through windows or down on the roof. So planting trees and other leafy plants around your home makes perfect sense. Trees or shrubs that shade your air conditioning unit can increase its efficiency by 10 percent.

Don’t make the mistake of planting trees too close to your home. You don’t want a branch to break and cause damage to your roof.

Cover the Windows

Solar screens are mesh-like window screens that can cut the amount of sunlight that gets into your home. We aren’t talking small cuts; as much as 70 percent of solar heat can be cut with solar screens. These screens are especially effective on windows that are east and west facing.

Another option to cut sunlight coming into your home is window film. These are transparent, metalized sheets that reflect the heat before it gets into your house.

Hang in the Basement

Spend some quality time in the basement with the family on days that are super hot. You eco-cooled basement is more comfortable than any room upstairs and you don’t have to crank up the air conditioning to keep it that way.

Eat Salad

Salads are cool, refreshing, healthy and you don’t have to turn o the oven to make one. Keeping oven use to a minimum on hot days is an excellent way to keep your home cooler and take a bite out of your utility bills.

Keep Your Air Conditioner Properly Maintained

Keep your filter clean and have a technician service your air conditioning unit annually and your unit will run efficiently. An air conditioner that runs at an optimal level save you money in cooling costs.

Take a Bath

Step in the shower and rinse off with some cool water to get your body temperature down. You can also place a cold, wet cloth on the back of your neck. These are just a few ways you can keep cool without having to use so much energy.

If you are in need of air conditioning repair or service, contact Total Care Heating and Air today.