The sun is beating down, turning your home into an oven, and it’s time to crank up the air conditioning. Everyone knows that once it comes on, it doesn’t go off until temperatures drop again, so how can you save on those dreaded cooling costs? It seems that the bills go through the roof once that A/C comes on, but there are ways to keep costs down.
Seal Up Your House
Windows and doors are the biggest wastes of energy in both the summer and winter. Cracks under doors and ill-fitting windows can suck that cold air out of your house, causing the AC to kick on more often. Don’t forget to seal your attic door if you have one as well.
Decrease Sun Exposure
Your house heats up fast because of sunlight streaming in through the windows. Plant trees outside the home to help block the sun and use dark heavy curtains to keep the inside as cool as possible. There are also window coverings designed to keep sunlight out.
Increase Temperature at Night
You don’t have to be absolutely chilled when you’re sleeping. Instead, bump the temperature to a comfortable 78 or 80 and keep the A/C from running when you don’t need it.
Increase Temperature Period
If you really want to save money, then don’t wait for when you’re out of the house or sleeping. If you've set the temperature for 70, then bump it up to 73, and you’ll save money over the long run, and it is still comfortable.
Use a Fan
Fans are a great way to circulate the air in the house and keep the air moving. This not only helps keep the house cool, but also creates evaporation cooling. The moving air helps to evaporate sweat from your skin and keep you cooler. Use this in conjunction with your A/C or save even bigger money by using fans instead of A/C.
Use Your Finished Basement
Basements are generally below ground level and are several degrees cooler than the main house. Many finished basements have all the comforts of home, so spend some time down there and keep the A/C off.
Don't Use the Demon Stove
I hate cooking during the summer. That oven cranks up the degrees in the house, and the A/C never turns off when that casserole’s in the oven. Instead, grab some steaks and burgers and go cookout on the grill. Keep as much cooking out of the house as possible.
Get a High-Efficiency AC
Older air conditioning systems will hike up the costs because they use more energy than newer high-efficiency models. While the upfront cost of a new A/C system is high, you'll save money over the length of its life. Also, keep your A/C efficient by regular yearly checkups. Many HVAC companies offer special deals in spring to provide maintenance upkeep for your A/C.
Cool Yourself With Water
Cool water will help naturally cool your body, so you can stand those higher temperatures you set for the A/C. There are many products available such as small fans that spray water on you. If that doesn’t sound appealing, then try a nice cool bath or shower to cool you off for a while.
If you want to save tons of money on A/C, then keep it turned off and stay out of the house as much as possible. It’s summer, so enjoy local festivals and events, go swimming, take a vacation, and many other diversions. You can even sit out in the shaded patio with a glass of lemonade and listen to the Junebug.