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Everyone wants to beat the summer heat, but no one wants to pay huge electricity bills for air conditioning. Do you know how much you can save by not working your air conditioners so hard?
The Department of Energy estimates you save 1% of your energy bill every eight hours for each degree you change on your thermostat.
So, turning thermostats back 7 to 10 degrees from their normal settings for 8 hours per day could save up to 10% annually.
With that in mind, let’s look at 10 simple ways to keep your house cool without running an expensive air conditioner.
Close the Blinds
While you might enjoy the sunshine, letting the sunlight flood in those windows produces solar heat gain. Use a shade outside or close your blinds to prevent heating your home with an accidental greenhouse effect.
Set Your Ceiling Fans to Rotate Counter-Clockwise
In the summer, your ceiling fan should spin counter-clockwise. This creates a downdraft of cool air. You can reverse this in the winter. A ceiling fan uses much less power than your AC, so turn them on and enjoy the cross breeze.
Bake and Wash at Night
If you can, try to schedule your baking and cleaning for the nighttime. The oven will warm up your kitchen and the cleaning will be considered exercise. Try to avoid these during the daytime so you keep your body heat down and stay cool.
Apply Heat Reducing Film
Heat film can reduce solar heat gain by up to 80%, so buy some and install it. The film shouldn’t affect the look of your windows too much. Whatever you spend will almost certainly be saved in the months following the installation.
Plant Foliage Outside
Trees are brilliant for the environment and your home. A deciduous tree, the kind that loses its leaves, can shade your windows in the summer months, then lose its leaves to let warm winter sunshine into your windows. Think of them as natural sunshades!
Open a Few Windows and Let the Night Air Flow
Letting cooler air in from outside at night will help you save a lot of money. Many places enjoy breezy summer evenings. If that’s the case in your area, then boost your air circulation, open the windows, and enjoy the fresh air.
Place Box Fans in Windows
Window box fans can improve indoor air quality by bringing in the fresh air. They might not be as cool as your air conditioning system, but they may be better for you. They can be especially effective if you can shutter them in the hottest parts of the day and use them to bring in more cool air only in the mornings and evenings.
Flush Hot Air in the Evenings
Imagine coming home from a day at the office to find your home stuffy and hot because you turned off the air conditioning to save money. Don’t immediately turn the AC back on. Instead, open all the windows, turn on your exhaust fan, attic fan, or whole house fan, and push the warm air out of your home. Then, close the windows and turn on the AC. Doing this will lower your electric bills.
Wear Breezy Clothing
Seems simple, right? But take a few moments to put on cooler clothing when you get home. Swapping your work clothes for shorts and a T-shirt will make you more comfortable. Feeling comfy will help you lower energy costs because you can tolerate raising your thermostat by a degree or two.
Add Outdoor Shade
If you can’t wait for trees to grow, look at adding sunshades to your windows. There are thousands of shade and blind options that look great. These will block the sun’s rays, reduce heat gain, and keep your home cool.
Switch to No-Heat Lightbulbs
You might not think of your lights as heat sources, but they are. As an experiment, leave your lights on for twenty minutes and then (carefully) feel your light bulb. If it burns your fingers, then you might want to opt for an energy-saving bulb. They operate at cooler temperatures, saving you money on your lighting and cooling costs.
Contact a Professional for a Thorough Consultation
If your energy bills are too high, then contact a pro for some recommendations. They may have ideas such as a mini split air conditioner, whole house fans, blackout curtains, or other cooling methods to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.