As any homeowner can attest, cooling a residence throughout the summer can be a costly undertaking – particularly if air conditioning is the only tool at your disposal. While it’s hard to argue with AC’s effectiveness, the high cost of running it all summer long cannot be overlooked. In addition to being bad for the environment, running your AC system around the clock stands to bleed you dry financially. Of course, this isn’t to say that you should never rely on air conditioning – it just shouldn’t be your go-to cooling solution. Homeowners looking to do right by the environment – and their bank accounts – would do well to consider the following money-saving alternatives.

Have Your AC System Serviced at the Beginning of the Season

Although becoming overly reliant on air conditioning can cost you a small fortune during the summer months, failing to have your AC system properly serviced stands to make your summertime utility bills even higher. When it’s unable to operate at peak efficiency, your air conditioning system has to work even harder to cool your home, which is bad for the system itself and your financial bottom line. With this in mind, make a point of having it serviced at least once a year. When inspecting your AC system, an experienced pro will fix existing issues, identify potential issues and administer cleanings and component-swaps as needed.

Since they entail spending money, some people are hesitant to commit to annual service visits. While it’s true that you’ll be required to shell out a little bit of cash, this small financial sacrifice stands to save you big bucks in the long run. By the same token, make sure to have any AC issues you encounter looked at in a timely manner. The longer you wait, the pricier repairing these issues is likely to become.

Install Dependable Ceiling Fans Throughout Your Home

No summertime cooling apparatus is complete without the presence of high-quality ceiling fans. If installed in the right spots, dependable ceiling fans can be used to circulate cool air throughout your entire residence, whether it’s from your AC or outside. You can also enable ceiling fans to produce their own downward-flowing cooling breezes by setting their blades to rotate counterclockwise.

To enjoy the full benefits of dependable ceiling fans, you’ll need to exercise a certain degree of discernment when shopping around for the right fans. You can decrease your chances of winding up with a lemon by limiting your options to fans that feature a bevy of convenient settings, are extremely user-friendly and come with comprehensive manufacturer guarantees. Additionally, make sure to purchase fans that are well-suited to your particular residence. For example, if you hail from a rural area, a good farmhouse ceiling fan is liable to suit your needs perfectly.

Make Sure Your Attic is Properly Insulated

Since a fair of heat can enter your home through the roof, it’s in your best interest to insulate your attic. In addition to keeping hot air outside, proper insulation will help seal in cool air, thus relieving your AC system of some of its burden. Good insulation can also pay off during the frosty winter months when it will help seal in warm air while keeping cool air at bay.

Give Your Oven a Break

Using your oven stands to increase the temperature in your kitchen and the surrounding area. While this can be helpful during the chilly winter months, it can make your kitchen uncomfortably hot throughout the summer. As such, you’d do well to limit oven use whenever possible during the summertime. If you insist on using your oven, try to do so after the sun has gone down, and make sure to use your kitchen’s exhaust fan. On the plus side, this will afford you many opportunities to experiment with oven-less recipes and hone your outdoor grilling skills.

Keeping your residence comfortably cool all summer long can cost you an arm and a leg. Cranking your AC around the clock may provide timely and efficient cooling, but it can also leave a substantial dent in your finances. Although many homeowners have resigned themselves to paying exorbitant utility costs throughout the summer, there are numerous ways you can save yourself a small fortune while still enjoying the benefits of a cool home. So, if high cooling costs have consistently put a damper on your summers, put the previously discussed solutions to good use.