Now that summer is here, you are probably thinking of efficient ways to keep your house cool. Here are some practical money saving tips that are easy to do:
- Get a smart thermostat– Many thermostats have timers built in that will let you schedule days and times when the air conditioning is on and/or adjust up or down for comfort. They key is to regulate the temperature so it saves you money.
- Keep it moving with ceiling fans – Remember, warm air rises to the top and cold air settles on the bottom. So in the summer time, make sure your ceiling fans are set to run so they turn clockwise (this looks counterclockwise as you are looking up). This will cause a nice downward draft and make you feel cooler and evaporate sweat.
- Block the sun– When rooms are not in use, keep blinds or shades pulled so that the sun does not heat the room through windows or doors. If you are considering buying new windows, make sure to get windows with low-e (low-emissivity) window glass to reduce the heat that enters your home. There are also some window tinting kits that could have the same effect. Low-e coatings are equivalent to adding another pane of glass and can reduce solar heat gain by 25-55% during the cooling season.
- Go outside instead – Instead of starting the oven or throwing your clothes in the clothes dryer, grill outside or hang your laundry on the clothes line. This will save you money from using your appliances, and adding unwanted heat to your home.
- Be cool, but not too cool– Keep your air conditioner maintained and change the filter as directed. If possible, get an energy efficient air conditioner that is the appropriate size for your room or home. Resist the temptation to set the air cooler than 78 degrees.
- Reduce humidity– Take cooler showers and be sure to turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom long enough to push humidity out, but not so long that cool air is pushed outside. When humidity is a factor, some people may turn on the dehumidifier instead of their air conditioning.
- Spend more time on lower levels or in the basement– It’s ok to sleep downstairs a few nights or have a slumber party with the kids where it’s cooler.
Lastly, go outside, and have a cool lemonade or sit by the pool to enjoy the weather. We will be talking about cold winters and corn stove heating options again before you know it!
What other ideas do you have for saving money on air conditioning and staying cool this summer?