Here are some small adjustments we can make in each of our homes to help reduce the cost of keeping our homes cool when things really heat up.
Summer is officially here, and so is the heat.
One of the things that many new homebuyers overlook in warm weather climates is just how expensive it can be to keep their new homes cool during the hot summer months. That added expense could become a significant burden on the budget if you aren’t careful.
While there isn’t much that any of us can do to control mother nature, there are plenty of small adjustments we can make in each of our homes to help reduce the cost of keeping our homes cool when things really heat up.
Here are some helpful ideas to help you save on your cooling costs this summer:
One of the easiest ways to keep your air conditioning unit from working too hard is to make sure that everything is properly maintained. The most important thing here is to simply change the filter regularly. This can dramatically reduce the amount of effort your air conditioner will require to force cool air throughout your house.
It is also a good idea to have a competent service technician give your air conditioner a yearly checkup to make sure that everything is in order.
Program Your Thermostat
Just about every new home these days comes with a fully programmable thermostat, but most of us still haven’t bothered to learn how to program them. It’s one of those things that is easy to put off over and over again. However, simply programming your thermostat to let the temperature increase a bit during times when you know you aren’t going to be home can take a tremendous load off of your power bill.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
Modern air conditioning units do a fantastic job of getting cool air to all parts of your home, but using your ceiling fans can really improve the way that air flows through the house. The amount of electricity it takes to keep your ceiling fans running will save you even more by reducing the workload on your air conditioner.
Run Appliances at Night
Aside from the sun, major appliances like your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer are some of the biggest sources of heat in your home. When you run these appliances during the day, you are creating even more heat at the same time your air conditioner is already trying to keep up with the sun. Running appliances at night when the sun is no longer heating your home is a great way to lighten the load on your air conditioner.
Another huge source of heat in your home is cooking. If you use your stove or oven, you are naturally going to increase the amount of work your air conditioner will have to do. By cooking outside on the grill you are able to keep the heat from cooking outside as well, not to mention adding great flavor to your food!
Unplug Small Appliances
It might seem like a small detail, but simply unplugging small appliances that are not being used can also have an impact on the amount of heat in your home. Anything you can do to reduce the number of heat sources present in your home will go a long way towards reducing your cooling costs.
Use Better Bulbs
If you are still using standard light bulbs, you should consider switching to fluorescent bulbs. They conduct far less heat than standard bulbs and also require less energy to run them. That means they have a double savings effect on your energy costs!
Blinds, Curtains, & Shutters
When the hot sun is out during the day, you want to have as much protection between its heat and the interior of your home as possible. Using blinds and curtains to keep your windows covered is a great way to keep the heat out.
Shutters can also be very effective, but make sure that your homeowners association approves them before installing.
You might not notice any significant savings from any one of these ideas, but if you combine them all and commit to following them all the time you will definitely notice their impact on the bottom line of your electric bills. Anything you can do to take the pressure off of the air conditioning unit is likely to have a positive impact on the overall cost of keeping your home cool this summer!