When the weather heats up, your energy costs often rise as well. If you want to avoid those high gas and electric bills, it’s time to get smart about the ways that you use energy. By making a few small tweaks to your routine, you may be able to save a lot of money.
Open and Close Your Windows at the Right Times
Windows can allow a cool breeze to flow through your home, but they can also let a lot of heat inside. When you’re using an air conditioner, the windows should be closed to allow the machine to cool down your home. Keeping the windows closed after you’ve turned the air conditioner off will keep the cool air inside. However, if it’s cooling down at night, it’s wise to shut off the air conditioner and open the windows to let the cool wind inside. Once you wake up, shut the windows to keep things cool.
Block Your Windows
Even if you have your windows closed during the day, they can still be a troublesome source of heat. The sun’s rays enter the home through the windows, heating it up like a greenhouse. To avoid this, keep the curtains or blinds closed throughout the day. White curtains will work best. Alternatively, you can apply a film to the windows that blocks some of the harsh rays from entering.
Fans move the air around and the breeze can make any room feel cooler than it really is. Many ceiling fans have a switch that allows you to adjust the direction of the fan. Jackson Electrical Contractors, Inc. said, “In the summer, the fan should be spinning in a counterclockwise direction, which will push the air straight down.” In the winter, a clockwise rotation will push warm air from the ceiling along the walls and back down into the room. If you’re using smaller fans, put a bowl of ice water directly in front of the fan. This helps it to blow cool air through the home, almost like an air conditioner.
Purchase a Programmable Thermostat
If you haven’t already done so, using a programmable thermostat is a great way to regulate energy costs. Simply set your home temperatures as you like based on whether you’ll be home or not. You can always override a setting if you change plans. This makes sure you don’t forget to shut off the air conditioner when you leave.
Avoid the Heat
Anything that produces heat is going to make your home feel hotter. Dishwashers, clothes dryers and ovens are some of the biggest heat-producers in the home. On really hot days, minimize their use and only use these appliances after 8pm. Summer is a great time to cook outdoors on the grill and eat a lot of sandwiches.
Get Rid of Extra Freezers
An extra freezer can help you save money by allowing you to purchase things in bulk when they’re on sale, but these appliances also use up a lot of energy. This is especially true if you keep it stored in a hot garage where the appliance will have to work extra hard to keep things cool. Consider consolidating your storage so that you don’t need to use the extra freezer in the hottest months. If you really do need the extra space, keep it in the cooler basement or purchase a more energy efficient model.
You don’t have to suffer through the heat if you want to lower your energy costs. Staying conscious about your energy usage will go a long way toward keeping you cool at a reasonable rate. Give some of our easy ideas a try.