Many areas of the country are getting over a very cold winter and are now dealing with a cool spring.
That means we should enjoy a cooler-than-average summer, right? Probably not. What the country has been dealing with in recent years is extremes in both directions.
So, we’re going to get some very hot days this summer. That usually means high energy bills as our air conditioners get a good workout.
But there are a number of tried and true ways to reduce your cooling costs. Let’s take a look at some of them.
8 cooling tips
- Program your thermostat. Determine which hours you will be away from home and allow it to get a little warmer during those times. No sense paying for cool air that no one is able to enjoy. And even when you’re home, keep the setting as high as you are comfortable with to save on costs.
- Properly insulate your home. Older homes especially have many areas where hot air can leak in during the summer (not to mention cold air during the winter). By sealing up those cracks and openings with caulk and weather stripping, you’ll keep your home cooler.
- Clean your air conditioner and vents annually. A thorough cleaning once a year will enable your AC to work more efficiently and your vents to allow good air flow.
- Change filters regularly. Dirty filters block airflow, so replace them every month or so. You don’t need to purchase expensive filters. In fact, the more economical ones often allow better airflow than the more expensive ones.
- Let your drapes and blinds block the sun. The greenhouse effect is what makes many homes uncomfortably hot during the summer. Block the sun’s rays with drapes and blinds. Choose light-colored treatments, which deflect the sun’s rays back outside, instead of darker ones, which absorb the heat. At night, open windows to allow cooler air in.
- Use ceiling fans. It’s amazing what ceiling fans can do to cool off rooms in the summer, as long as they are turning in the correction direction. In addition to cooling a room, they make rooms more comfortable due to the air movement. A ceiling fan should turn counter-clockwise during the summer and clockwise during the winter.
- Limit heat generation inside. On hot days, the goal is to keep it as cool as possible indoors. So, try to avoid using appliances that serve to heat up your home. That includes ovens, stove tops, dishwashers and clothes dryers. Consider using the grill for cooking on such days and washing dishes by hand. Maybe you can dry clothes on a line outside rather than using the dryer.
- Turn off your air conditioner. There are times when cooler air might feel a little better than the breeze coming in through your windows, but it isn’t really necessary. Use those times to give your AC a break.
It’s probably going to be hot outside this summer. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to make sure you’re comfortable on the inside.