With the temperature and humidity rising, there’s no doubt that we’ve entered the dog days of summer. Here are a few pieces of advice to help you cool down your home and save a little on your monthly utility bills.
Don’t forget your flue
An open flue is about the same as an open window, making your air conditioning work harder to keep your room cooler. Take a quick look and close the flue if you’ve negelected to do so.
Adjust the thermostat
There’s no reason to keep your home cooled to 72 degrees if no one is home during the day. Turn up the thermostat a few degrees when you leave in the morning. Better yet, install a programmable thermostat.
See the light
Traditional incandescent light bulbs are not energy efficient because they heat up in order to create light. Using lower watt bulbs, or new florescent bulbs, will save on energy costs and heat being introduced into the room.
Seal air leaks
Everyone thinks about winterizing their home but those same tips apply to summer as well. Sealing leaks around windows can lower your cooling costs in summer and heating costs in winter. In addition, sealing leaks in your air ducts can improve your cooling system by 20 percent, which will save you over the summer.
Change your air filter regularly
It doesn’t matter whether you have a central air system or window A/C, the air filters get dirty and make your systems work harder, which uses more energy. Change or clean your filter every three months.
Go green, literally
The air in the shade is cooler than in the sun. By strategically planting trees or bushes around your A/C unit, it will be pulling in cooler air and won’t have to work as hard to cool it once it’s inside. Also, consider planting so that your windows are in shade.
Limit the use of your oven
The oven takes a lot of time to pre-heat and puts warm air into the kitchen. Smaller appliances such as toaster ovens, crock pots and microwaves use less energy and give off less heat.
Use fans to cool a room
Ceiling fans and even inexpensive oscillating fans use less energy and move the air across your skin. Although the temperature doesn’t change, you will “feel” cooler.
Pack the fridge
The refrigerator ranks as one of the highest in energy consumption of all appliances. To help it run as energy efficiently as possible, keep it full. Keep the freezer full of ice and, better yet, frozen treats to help you stay cool, too. A full freezer uses less energy than an empty one because the existing frozen food helps the air temperature stay colder.
With these tips in mind, your home will be more energy efficient and you won’t lose your cool with high utility bills this summer.