Summer is in full swing and with it comes higher temperatures, more air conditioner usage, and higher energy bills. However, you shouldn’t need to spend a ton of money to be comfortable in your own home. Use the following techniques to keep your house cool in the summer without draining your bank account.
Use Window Treatments to Your Advantage
One of the best, low-cost ways to keep your home cool is by closing the curtains or blinds. If the home gets a lot of sun or the windows are old, the temperature increase in the house can be significant. Keep the curtains closed when the sun is at its hottest to cool down the room without increasing your energy consumption. To take this one step further, consider putting up blackout curtains as these do an even better job of keeping out the sun’s heat.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
You likely won’t be able to get away with not using your AC all summer, but you can use it more efficiently. The best way to do this is by installing a programmable thermostat. This device makes it easier to keep your home cool when you’re inside and prevent it from wasting energy when you’re away. Set the thermostat to a higher temperature when you know you’ll be out of the house, like when you’re at work. Schedule it to a lower temperature before you get home so the house will still be cool and comfortable when you walk in the door. Even setting the thermostat a few degrees higher when you’re not home can make all the difference when your energy bill arrives.
If you have ceiling fans in your home, be sure to use them. Staying comfortable indoors has less to do with the actual temperature and more to do with how the air feels on your skin. Turning on a ceiling fan can make a room feel up to 10 degrees colder and uses only 10 percent of the energy that a central air conditioner does. You’ll feel cooler and your wallet won’t suffer. Just make sure the fan is set to rotate in the counterclockwise direction. This way, it will pull up the colder air from the ground and circulate it throughout the room, making it colder. And don’t forget to turn it off when nobody is in the room.
Seal Leaks and Add Insulation
Even with the air conditioner on full blast, your home may still feel warm if there are leaks. Cool air can escape your home through windows, doors, attics, and other cracks. This means that your air conditioner will need to work harder to keep your home a comfortable temperature, costing you even more money. Inspect your home or schedule a professional home energy audit to see which areas are wasting the most energy. Then, seal any cracks, install weather stripping, and improve the insulation in the walls and attic. Though this tactic is more work, it will save you tons of money in the long-term.