Are you dreading the heat of summer and the high utility bills it will bring? Air conditioning your home is a drain on your bank account and on the planet’s resources, so finding ways to keep your house cool for less benefits everyone. Here are some tactics to save you money this summer.
Add Localized Cooling Devices
You can set your thermostat a little higher in summer if the room you’re in has a little help. Ceiling fans, portable fans, and portable air conditioner units are all affordable low-tech ways to create a zoned comfort system. Just like a space heater in the winter, these systems help keep you comfortable in the places where you spend most of your time. If you have a portable unit in your home office during the day, a ceiling fan in your living room in the evening, and a window unit in your bedroom, you may be able to avoid using your whole-house system on all but the hottest days.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
There’s no point cooling the house during the day when everyone is gone to work or school. A programmable thermostat that lets you schedule breaks for your HVAC system when no one is home is a simple way to save money on cooling costs. You can also adjust it to run the air conditioning less at night when the family is sleeping. If you have already installed some localized cooling devices, you can set the thermostat higher when you know you’ll be in those zones.
Weatherize Your Home
Sealing air leaks around windows and doors helps stop cool air from escaping. Your local hardware store has lots of ideas, from weather stripping to caulk, that you can bring home and try. While you’re sealing the cool air in, don’t forget to block the heat from entering as well. For instance, if there’s an area of your home where the hot sun streams in through the windows, consider adding sheer curtains or applying a tinted film to the glass.
Add a Dehumidifier
If the summers where you live are steamy and humid, a dehumidifier will give a great boost to your air conditioner. A dehumidifier will help you feel more comfortable without running the air conditioner so hard, and it is less costly to operate. Removing some moisture from the air will also help your cooling system run more efficiently. There may even be days or evenings when you can be comfortable just running the dehumidifier and a ceiling fan.
Take Care of Your HVAC System
Changing the filters regularly and having a trained technician lubricate and clean the moving parts of your system will help your air conditioner run more efficiently. An efficient unit will keep you more comfortable for less money.
Keeping your utility bills down in the summer doesn’t have to mean suffering in the heat. These tips will go a long way toward relieving the burden on your air conditioner while keeping you cool and comfortable all summer long.
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