It has been extremely hot this summer, with intense heat waves and hotter than normal temperatures that drive us to the beach, the mall, the pool, or wherever we can to cool down. Those without air conditioning are forced to sleep in uncomfortable conditions, tossing and turning throughout the night, not to mention the unfortunate dry conditions have resulted in a slew of wildfires and heat-related illness across the country. And for those with the luxury of AC, the utility bills can be a burden as well. Fortunately, there are ways you can actually save money and energy on air conditioning, helping to make each day feel just a bit cooler.
No surprise here – electricity bills spike in the summer. The desire to keep cool often outweighs the energy costs you pay to maintain the comfort level in your home. The typical U.S. home spends 17% of its annual energy bill on cooling. But, there are methods that can be used within your home that can cut energy costs, all of which are surprisingly simple and effective.
- Only open your windows at night when the air outside is cooler than inside the house, this allows for circulation of the cooler air and will ultimately prevent a good deal of sun’s heat from reaching indoors.
- The great fan debate. Although using fans will not actually cool a room, it will cool the people in the room. Just make sure to shut them off when you leave!
- Shutting off lights is also an easy step to take; incandescent lights can produce as much heat as they do light. Changing your bulbs Energy Star-rated light bulbs that produce less heat can also have help to decrease additional, unnecessary heat within your home.
- Cold Showers, or taking a dip in the pool if that is an option, will cool off your core temperature and making the heat easier to withstand.
- If air conditioning is at your disposal and you are looking to decrease your energy usage, you can start by making smarter decisions when adjusting the thermostat. If no one is home during the day, don’t waste those precious dollars on keeping your house cool. When you leave for work increase the temperature, and when you get home decrease it to your desired room temp.
- Keep up with AC maintenance! By cleaning the air filters you will increase the efficiency of your AC and ensure that you are using your unit to its full potential. If you have central air, annual checkups will check for any flaws in your system that could be causing pricey leaks. If you only have to cool one room in your house don’t go overboard with a full central air system. Window air conditioners require much less energy and upkeep that central air, while providing the same cooling technique.
Whether you choose to use AC or not, there are ways that you can easily decrease your monthly energy bill and cooling your house, saving money one closed window at a time.