Ah, summer. There’s nothing like it. Long sunny days marked by family barbecues, lounging by the pool, and paying massive electricity bills because you have the air conditioning running 24/7. If you’re dreading the cost of keeping your house cool in the summer, you should know it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are few steps you can take to keep those cooling costs under control.
1. Fans Still Work
Just because you have air conditioning doesn’t mean you can’t use a ceiling or area fan to keep things comfortable. When a fan is running, the wind chill effect makes you feel 6 to 7 degrees cooler, which means you can raise the thermostat a few degrees, thereby saving you a little money. Don’t forget to turn off that fan, however, when you leave the room.
2. Turn up the Thermostat
Don’t get in the habit of keeping the thermostat set to 65°. The idea is to keep the house as warm as you can handle. Start at 72° then gradually increase the heat until you no longer feel comfortable. Setting your thermostat to 78° instead of 72°will save you up to 18% on your monthly electric bill. Raising the thermostat further when you’re sleeping or out of the house can also make a significant dent in your costs.
3. Keep Your A/C Systems in Good Shape
Your air conditioning will only work as well as its equipment is maintained. That means cleaning and replacing your filters once a month. If you have central air, be sure the unit’s evaporator and condenser coils aren’t covered in dust or leaves. Also, make sure any foliage is at least 2 feet away from the condenser. Simple fixes like these can save you up to 15%.
4. Avoid Generating Heat within the House
Your A/C system is working hard enough just fighting the Sun. The last thing you need to do is cook a big meal over the stove for several hours. Try and move the cooking to an outside grill whenever possible. If you’re going to take a hot bath, use the bathroom ventilator fan to keep the room cool at its source so your A/C won’t have to work overtime.
5. Leave the Shades and Blinds Closed
The sun is the problem to begin with, so you want as little sunlight within the home as possible. It’s shocking how much of a difference you’ll see in your electricity bill just by keeping the curtains closed. Hanging shades as close to the windows as you can and keeping them shut can reduce heat entering your home by as much as 45%.
Just being attentive and applying these simple tricks lets you have a great summer without suffering the sting of sky-high energy bills.