With summer approaching fast, if you don’t get a handle on keeping your house cool, you could be looking at a massive bill with oncoming heat waves. Believe it or not, according to the US Department of Energy, nearly half of a home’s energy cost comes from cooling and heating. Here are some helpful ways on to keep these cost down and keep your house cool during the summer:
1. Maintain Cooling Systems
Take a look at your AC. Does it look like it’s working fine? It may not be. Nearly five to fifteen percent of your home’s cooling systems are blocked with dirt and dust, which prevents them from working efficiently. The best way you can prevent this is to regularly replace your unit’s filters.
You should also be sure to schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment. Who knows, it may be time to upgrade your AC unit. Also, if you have an exterior cooling system, make sure it’s free of debris or built-up dirt. You can even try installing more energy-efficient cooling systems to help lower your bills and feel the pride of being eco-friendly.
2. Reduce the Amount of Sunlight in Your House
No matter what kind of changes you make in your home to lower your energy costs, reducing the amount of sunlight in your home is the best thing you can do. When you have your windows and shades closed, you can reduce the amount of heat in your home by nearly 45 percent.
You can also work on handing your shades closer to your window panes to reduce solar heat intrusion. In addition, you can even purchase reflective shades or insulated shades to help reduce your overall energy costs.
3. Avoid Heat Building up in Your Home
If it’s hotter outside than inside your home, work on limited activities that could possibly add additional heat in your home. These activities range from using the dishwasher to cooking on your stove. Instead, opt in for using the microwave and wash your clothes by hand.
Additionally, you can do these activities at night when it is cooler out. If you have to take a bath or shower when it is excessively hot out, make sure you have an exhaust fan that can prevent the build-up of humidity and heat. The biggest types of heat generators in your home are your TV, stereo system, and electric devices. Work on limiting those the most to prevent heat building up in your house.
4. Reduce Appliance Usage During the Heat of the Day
There are a lot of appliances in your home that can increase the temperature inside your home. If it is hotter outside than it is inside, try to cut down on any activities that produce heat. This includes cooking with your oven or stove top, using the clothing dryer, and turning on the dishwasher. Instead, cook in the microwave, line dry your clothes, and hand wash your dishes.
If you must use any of these appliances, wait until after the sun goes down and temperatures have dropped. Radios, televisions, and computers also create a lot of heat. Also, if you use hot water to bathe during the day, be sure to turn on the bathroom exhaust fan. This will work to remove any humidity and heat. By avoiding or limiting these activities, you will be able to save a ton on your electric costs.
5. Get Smart About Your Air Conditioner
You can save a lot on cooling during the hot summer months by running your air conditioner more economically. Work on setting your AC as high as you can while still being comfortable. You should also install a programmable thermostat. This way, you can preset your AC to higher temperatures when you are out of the house and when you are sleeping. Doing these two things together could easily decrease your cooling costs by as much as 10%.
The smaller the difference between the outside temperature and the temperature inside your house, the more savings you will see. Instead of the normal 72 degrees, adjust your thermostat to 76 or higher. Even a few degrees can make all the difference.
If you do choose to install your programmable thermostat, consider turning the AC off all day and then setting it to turn on right before you get home from work. This way you can come home to a cool house. Also, you can avoid turning the AC up higher than necessary when you first get home. Doing this won’t cool down the rooms any faster, but presetting your thermostat will. Managing keeping your home cool can be especially hard in the summer. All you want to do is reach for the AC remote, but all it does is add to your growing electric bill.
Hopefully, this guide from All Hours Air can serve you well in reducing your cooling costs this summer without any major changes to your daily routine.