Summer is just around the corner. If this summer is anything like this past winter, we could be in for some very warm days! Here are a few things you can do to help keep cool while not allowing your cooling costs to soar!
Inspect/Maintain Your Air Conditioner. Make sure you don’t have any holes or cracks in your unit as those can allow air to leak, which increases your energy costs. If you find any of these issues on your unit, cover leaks with duct sealant, tape or caulk. Also make sure to spray down outside units to clear away pollen or debris as that can cause the unit to run inefficiently. Tip – change filters every 1-3 months and you can save upwards of 10% on cooling costs.
Increase efficiency. When you will be away from your home for 8 hours or more a day, turn your thermostat up at least 5 degrees. Doing this can save as much as 15% off of your cooling costs. The simplest way to do this is to invest in a programmable thermostat which can adjust the temp up when you leave and then lower it shortly before you will return home in the afternoon/evening. You might even consider investing in a thermostat which is WiFi enabled, allowing you to adjust it from your smartphone. Tip -keep ceiling fans running as that can help keep rooms cool.
Avoid the AC if you can. Ceiling fans cost less than $10/month (on average) to run, whereas an air conditioner can cost $200 or more monthly. If you are not using appliances, unplug them as they can generate heat even when not in use.
Keep the blinds/curtains closed. Turn your blinds counterclockwise (pointing “up”) to keep sun and heat from filtering into your room. This will keep the sun from filtering in, which can in turn heat up your home. Tip – use white or light colored blinds/curtains to reflect the sunlight.
Keep the oven turned off. When you use your oven, it puts additional heat into your home. Plan your menu with recipes which require to little to no cooking if you can. If you must use the oven, do so early in the morning and bake ahead of time.
Use CFL light bulbs. These light bulbs no only save on energy costs, they are also give off much less heat, which will keep your rooms cooler!
What tips do you have to add to this list?