By Thomas Kwan
Summer heat can drive energy costs through the roof with air conditioning. Here are some ways to keep your home cool while saving a lot of money.
According to safeelectricity.org, with air conditioning in high demand, so are energy costs. Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature is not only expensive but dangerous. Air conditioners use a lot of energy and strain your home’s electrical network circuits, creating ideal conditions for a fire.
Here are some ways to keep your home cooler, safer and more energy efficient:
Prepare the air conditioner. Turn off the power to the device before cleaning it. Inside, wash or vacuum filters and replace disposable filters. Outside, clear leaves and other debris from the condenser. Water off any accumulated dirt.
Ventilate the attic. When the outside temperature is in the 90s, your attic can easily reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Properly sized vents or an attic fan can help prevent hot air from building up.
Install awnings on windows exposed to direct sunlight.
Consider installing ceiling fans. In hot weather, a ceiling fan may be enough to keep you comfortable. When it’s warmer, decrease the use of your air conditioner by using a fan.
Updating your insulation will keep the cool air in your home and the warm air out. You can add more insulation on top of the existing insulation in your attic. Research the type of insulation you should use.
Use a smart or programmable thermostat. Leave it on a higher temperature while you’re away and set it to cool the house half an hour before you get home.
Wear breathable clothing, preferably short-sleeved shirts, shorts or tank tops. Wearing minimal layers makes a huge difference.
Staying hydrated with cold water also helps your body maintain a regular and consistent body temperature while helping you cool down.
If you have the money, installing hard, non-carpeted services like stone or tile often helps a home stay cool in the summer months.
According to safeelectricty.org, during the summer you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and cost:
Turn off the air conditioner and open your windows and doors. Let the outside air cool your home on moderately hot days.
Avoid unnecessary trips inside and outside the house. Heat and humidity enter every time you open the door.
Keep the sun out of your home, close blinds, blinds or curtains during the hottest part of the day. Consider planting fast-growing trees and shrubs near your home, but away from power lines, to provide shade.
Move heat-producing appliances away from the air conditioner thermostat. The heat from the lamp could cause the thermostat to read a higher temperature and cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Most people will use an air conditioner if they can afford it, so if you’re one of those people, prioritize energy efficiency by looking for the Blue Energy Star label. Energy Star air conditioners will save you money as energy costs rise due to their efficiency.
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