With the last day of school behind us, it now (unofficially) the beginning of summer. Are you ready for the summer heat? For those summer months when outside temps reach over 90 degrees, we would all love to run the thermostat at 68 degrees, but for most of us who are energy and money conscious, this is impossible.
So what can you do to avoid an electric bill that is exorbitant? Here are ten ways to help you cool down without burning a hole in your wallet.
- Turn the thermostat up a nudge along with the fan – Comfort level for humans in light clothing range from 72-78 degrees. To work with a 82 degree thermostat, a breeze of 1.7 mph will help keep you cool. Fans are the perfect aid in this situation — ceiling fans for entire rooms and small fans are great for a single person.
- Avoid using a dehumidifier at the same time as the air conditioner – The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the AC to work harder.
- Delay heat-generating activities on hot days until evening – This means washing dishes (yes! for procrastination) and baking. Another tip is to air dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher’s drying cycle, and also drying clothes on a clothesline instead of the dryer.
- Install awnings on south-facing windows – Southern exposure gets the most sun everyday, so shading this side of the house is ideal to prevent heat.
- Close vents and doors on rooms not in use – Don’t air-condition unused rooms.
- Don’t place lamps or TVs near the thermostat – Heat from appliances will cause the AC to run longer, because it can’t tell the difference between a hot room and a hot lamp.
- Shade your outside compressor – Without blocking airflow, find more ways to include shade like tall grasses or install a lattice barrier.
- Clean your AC’s filter every month during cooling season – Normal dust build-up can reduce air flow by 1% per week.
- Keep the shades down – Sometimes it may make you seem like a recluse, but it’s worth it on the hottest days to cool the house.
- Close the fireplace damper tightly – If you have forgotten to shut it after your last fire, the damper in your fireplace may be causing you to unknowingly lose money.
What are some other ways that you avoid the heat and save money?