Four Reasons To Help Your AC Out By Increasing Your Home's Passive Cooling Ability

Your AC system may perform wonders by keeping your home habitable even through the hottest days of summer, but that doesn't mean it couldn't use a little help now and then. If you've ever considered an easy home improvement project such as installing a radiant barrier under your roof, shading your walls with trellised plants, or having your roof coated with a cool roof coating, you know there's value to reducing the load on your AC unit. But you may not have realized how much good it could do. Here are four reasons to go ahead and start a passive cooling project.

1. Save money

A low-output amendment such as window tinting can pay you back in reduced energy bills every month. Windows are a great place to start because, of the extra heat your home accumulates throughout the day, up to 40% may enter through the windows. In addition to window tinting, you can use shutters, awnings, shade, and other techniques to keep extra heat from entering through the windows.

2. Reduce greenhouse gases

If you're an environmentalist, you may wish to consider remodeling your home to the point that it cools itself passively on all but the hottest days of summer, so you can keep AC use to a minimum. Whenever you run your AC, you burn fossil fuels and create greenhouse gases, which means that passive cooling can be a great way to help out the environment. In some areas of the country, AC use may account for over 2/3 of your energy bill in summer.

3. Keep your home cooler with less effort

It's true that if you have an appropriately sized AC unit, it should be able to keep temperatures significantly below outdoor temperatures even during the hottest days; but on the hottest days that may not be enough for complete comfort. During a heat wave, even a good unit may not be able to adhere to your preferred settings. If you have multiple means of keeping your home cool, such as beefier insulation and a cool roof, your AC unit won't have such a heavy load to shoulder.

4. Keep your AC healthier

The more hours your unit runs per day, the more maintenance it will require and the faster it'll wear out. Giving it a lighter load can help prolong its lifespan, potentially reducing your AC upkeep bills.

These are just four of the reasons why passive home cooling is a smart idea, especially in a warmer climate such as the American South. Some more ideas for easy passive cooling projects include installing more ceiling fans, improving attic ventilation and insulation, and painting your house with thermally reflective paint to reduce heat gain from the sun.

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