Keep Your House Cool and Your Energy Bills Low
Keep Your House Cool
Running the air conditioning can make an electricity bill skyrocket, but the alternative isn’t pretty, either. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can keep your house cool and save money as the summer months progress.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
If you haven’t upgraded to a smart thermostat, it’s time to make a change. Smart thermostats can regulate heating and cooling when you’re not home to save money. Plus, you can adjust the settings remotely using an app on your phone. Some even work with Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, Wink, Google Home, and other smart home platforms.
Location, location, location.
Proper thermostat placement can make your heating and cooling more energy efficient while still keeping you comfortable.
The most important thing about thermostat placement is to avoid areas that can have temperature extremes, making your thermostat think that the room is a lot cooler or warmer than it actually is. For example, don’t install your thermostat near doors that could let in drafts, windows that could shine hot rays of the sun onto the thermostat or near a bathroom door that could let hot steam settle around the thermostat.
Put your thermostat in a room that is one of the most used, on the interior wall, for the best results. If you have a smart thermostat, be sure that it is unobstructed by doors, bookshelves or decorations so that its sensors can work properly.
Close Your Blinds
A window letting in the hot sun won’t just heat up your thermostat, it’ll heat you up too. During the warmest part of the day, close your window blinds and keep out the sun. It can also help insulate your windows, which stops the cold air from escaping.
Use a Fan
Sometimes you don’t need to amp up the thermostat to feel cooler. Using a ceiling fan can make a room feel 10 degrees cooler and uses 10 percent of the energy of a central air conditioner.
If you want to get high-tech, you can install smart ceiling fans that connect to an app. You can schedule the times when these fans turn on and off, and you can control their speed without standing on your tiptoes.
Wet Towel over Fan
An easy and sufficient way to cool down a room is to place a wet towel over the front of a fan.
How do you do this?
You need a typical box fan with a grill over the front. Then you soak a washcloth or towel in cool water. Be sure to wring out the cloth so it’s damp and not completely wet.
Lay the cloth over the fan. As your fan blows air, it will circulate through the cloth and help keep your house cool, especially the rooms where the fans are.
Make sure there’s no way for the cloth to get stuck in the fan.
Use Stove Less
On extremely hot days you should avoid using the oven. Restricting oven use can help you keep your kitchen and adjoining rooms cool. Instead, you should on the stovetop or even on your grill outside!
Clean Your Filter
A Clean air filter equals clean air for your home. Though, your filter does much more than that. Having a clean filter can help with your energy use as well. A dirty air filter will actually increase the amount of energy it takes for your HVAC system to work.
So, how do you know when it’s time to change your air filter? Make sure to check it on a monthly basis, and change it anywhere from one to three months. You’ll also be able to tell when a filter is dirty by the gray, ashy-looking material covering it. A clean filter is one of the easiest ways to keep your house cool this summer.
Do an Energy Audit
A home energy audit can help you achieve energy efficiency while cutting your bills. Energy audits can reveal a lot of things you probably didn’t know about your home, helping you make smarter decisions for the future. If you haven’t had an energy audit performed on your house, now’s the perfect time to consider having it done.
Call a Professional
While we’d sometimes like to do everything ourselves, sometimes you just have to call a professional. Your HVAC system is one of those situations where this is true. Do all you can, but don’t skip your regular professional maintenance checkup.
Check your unit’s warranty. An annual professional checkup may be required to keep your warranty valid.
Professional maintenance covers those extra tasks you can’t do yourself. It also helps prevent surprise breakdowns throughout the year.