Posted on Saturday 30 May 2009
Spring is coming to an end and the weather is definitely getting warmer. If you’re like me, you try to resist turning on the AC as long as possible. However, that’s only delaying the inevitable. So here are some ways to keep cool AND save money.
- Increase the temperature on your thermostat – There’s no need to keep your home like an icebox. Instead of cranking the AC down to 70 degrees, try 78 and see how you feel. I promise, unless you’re in direct sunlight, it’s not that bad
- Install ceiling fans – Feeling a cool breeze across your skin makes you feel several degrees cooler than you are. The electricity used to power a ceiling fan in the room you’re in is much less than trying to cool your whole house.
- Close vents in rooms you don’t use – Why pay to cool rooms that you’re not in. Close those vents and the doors to those rooms as well. Because you’re cooling a smaller portion of your home, your electricity bill will be smaller as well.
- Get a programmable thermostat – This way you can regulate your AC use. There’s no point in running the AC when you aren’t home. That’s a pure waste of money. I set the AC to go off around 7am when I leave home in the morning and to come back on about an half hour before I get home. This way, the house is cool when I arrive but I haven’t wasted any power cooling an empty house.
- Clean your air filters – Clean or replace your air filters once a month or whenever they look dirty. Your AC unit has to work harder to draw air through a dirty filter and this lessens its efficiency. Trust me, air filters cost much less than electricity.
- Use curtains to block the sunlight – While I love natural sunlight, I keep my curtains drawn when I’m away from home. This lessens the amount of sunlight (meaning HEAT) that comes into my home, keeping it cooler overall.
- Insulate your attic – If your attic doesn’t have the proper amount of insulation, you can lose a lot of your cooled air, forcing your air conditioner to work harder. Increasing your insulation is not very expensive and an easy DIY project. You’ll soon recoup the cost as you can save ~$100/yr on your energy bills.
- Install an attic fan – This is something I’m considering doing. To get even more bang for the buck, I’m looking at solar attic fans. Attic fans draw hot air out of the attic which has a cooling effect on your home. If you install a solar model, there is no added electricity cost.
What are ways you’re saving money and staying cool this year?