When the summer sun begins bearing down on your home, your energy costs are almost guaranteed to rise. Keeping a home cool isn’t usually cheap. Central air conditioning can cost you a couple of dollars to run every single day it is in use. If you have window air conditioners in every room, the price can even be higher. Luckily, there are things you can do to save money will cooling your home this summer. Here are three ways to keep the cost as low as possible.
1. Close Your Blinds and Curtains
While you might enjoy looking out your windows on a sunny day, that nicety is costing you. When your blinds and curtains are open, sunlight and heat can make their way inside more easily, increasing the temperature in your house.
By closing your blinds and curtains during the sunniest parts of the day, you can reduce the likelihood that ambient outdoor heat will make it inside. When you adjust your blinds, make sure they are angled with the upper edge pointing toward your window and being covered by the piece above it. Since heat rises, this guides the hot air out instead of inside.
If you don’t have curtains, consider purchasing some that are designed to keep the heat out. Thicker curtains with semi-reflective backings can make a significant difference.
However, once the sun goes down and it cools off outside, you can open your curtains and blinds. Cracking a window can also be a good idea if the outside temperature falls to a comfortable level, ensuring any hot air in your home can escape.
Since many people are at work or school during the day, having your blinds or curtains closed might not even be a big deal. Plus, if you go the extra mile and turn your thermostat up while you are gone, limiting peak cooling to hours when you are actually home to enjoy it, you can reduce your cooling costs even further.
2. Use Your Fans
Moving air can often feel cooler than if the air is still. If you have ceiling fans, use them, and make sure to set the rotation to push cool air down.
When you cook on the stove or use the oven, the exhaust fan can suck warm air out of your kitchen, making it cooler. Bathroom exhaust fans can also remove warm air while also reducing humidity, which can help keep your house cooler even if you or a family member prefers only the hottest showers or baths.
Adding window, floor, and desk fans around your home can also help. Fans in windows can either draw in cooler air from the outside (particularly during the evening, night, and morning) or pull hot air out. Floor and desk fans promote air circulation and may even create a wind chill effect, making you feel cooler because of the air passing over your skin.
3. Watch Your Heat Sources
Stoves, ovens, dishwashers, and clothes dryers all produce heat. If you use them during the hottest part of the day, you can increase the temperature in your home at the absolute worst time, causing your air conditioning system to have to do more work to keep the temperature down.
When possible, select meals that don’t require much cooking or that can be made in a microwave or an outdoor grill. If you do need to use the stove or the oven, try to wait until the evening when the temperature may be cooler.
You should also run your dishwasher at night, ensuring it is running when it is naturally cooler. Additionally, consider skipping the heated drying cycle and let your dishes air dry instead.
Clothes dryers should also be run at night whenever possible. You can also adjust your dryer to use a lower heat setting if you want to limits its effect further. However, if you can line dry your clothes outside during the hotter parts of the day, that can also be a great cost-saving strategy.
Other Ways of Cooling Your Home
If you have other appliances or electronics that radiate heat, consider if you can forgo using them or time their use to a cooler part of the day. And, when they are not in active use, make sure to turn them off. Items like gaming computers can put off a startling amount of heat when they are running (and also slowly use electricity all day, even when idle), so shut them down completely when they aren’t being used.
By following the tips above, you can save money while still ensuring your home is cool and comfortable. Then, you won’t be stuck with an unexpectedly high utility bill, ensuring you can keep your budget on track all summer long.
Have you tried any of the tips above? Do you have a tip for saving money while cooling your home during the summer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.