It’s easy to simply blast the AC to create a crisp, cool environment for yourself during these sticky, scorching summers. But we know you didn’t start reading this article to learn the easy way out. You want answers! How can you keep your energy bill low, as well as the temperature in your home? Below we are going to outline some tips to keep your home cooler when the thermometer creeps up and ways to make your AC use more efficient.
1. Close Your Blinds: Sunlight, and therefore, heat, coming through your windows cannot escape once it has entered your home. In fact, 30% of unwanted heat in your home is coming from this source! So, make sure to close your blinds during the day. However, if it starts to feel like a dreary Batcave inside, consider only closing south and west-facing windows, since, sunlight from these directions are particularly powerful. You could lower the temperature in your home by 20 degrees! If you still can’t stand the darkness, opt for light-colored blinds instead. These are always a better option because they reflect light rather than absorb it.
2. Change Ceiling Fans To Rotate Counter-Clockwise: Did you know you could change the rotation of your fan? In the winter, you want your fan to rotate clockwise, but in the summer, changing it to counter-clockwise will create a wind-chill breeze effect.
3. Add Awnings and/or Shutters: Adding exterior options for blocking the sun is efficient and effective! Awnings can reduce heating gains by 65-75% when placed on a south or west side.
4. Keep Doors Open Inside: In the winter, closing doors to keep the heat trapped is a plus, but in the summer, this will only cause stuffy hotboxes. Let the air flow freely through the rooms!
5. Change AC Filter: You should be changing your AC filter every 4-6 weeks in the summer, aka during the months of heaviest use. A dirty filter reduces not only air quality but also the efficiency of airflow.
6. Maximize Your AC: Energy.gov recommends to keep your home at 75 degrees (-/+ 1) while you’re home during the summer and 80 degrees (-/+ 1) while you’re away. Although this may seem a bit warm, it is cool enough to keep you comfortable and save on your energy bill. It has been researched that we sleep better in colder temperatures, so feel free to crank the AC at night, as this will give you the most bang for your buck.
7. Furnace Fan ON: Most thermostats allow you to manually turn the fan on that blows hot air through your home in the winter. In the summer, that fan can be run on its own to circulate and more evenly distribute the cooler air from the basement or main level. It also acts as another way to keep the air flowing and moving.
8. Bathroom Vent & Kitchen Vent ON: Both of these vents pull the hot air that rises after you cook or take a steamy shower out of the room.
9. Do Chores At Night: This may sound, at first, unrelated, but trust us when we say that doing chores at night could help with the head emitting into your home. Why? Because your appliances emit a LOT of heat. For example, driers are obviously using heated air, which inevitably escapes and radiates out from the machine. Do laundry at night to avoid heating your home even more during the hottest part of the day.
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