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Summers seem to be getting hotter each year. Are you dreading the heat or looking forward to relaxing by the pool? Sadly there’s no doubt that your power bill is going to go up. But don’t worry! I’ve got some easy tips for saving money on your power bill this summer.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Install a programmable thermostat for more control over your home’s temperature.
Program the thermostat to lower or raise the temperature depending on whether you are in or out of your house during the day. This will help keep cooling costs down by allotting less time for cooling.
To save the most money on cooling your home, adjust your thermostat by no more than one degree Fahrenheit at a time for maximum savings (e.g., if it’s 75 degrees outside, you may want to set it at 74.) Stay as close to this as possible, though you may have to lower it more when the weather gets really hot outside.
Setting your air to a cooler temperature at night when many power plans cost less is a great way to save money on your power bill. This will also help keep your home cooler during the day without your AC unit having to work harder.
If your power company has dynamic peak prices, set your air conditioner to cool your house down more beforehand, then shut down the AC during this peak time to save you money. Turn it back on after the cost of power goes down for the night.
Open Windows and Doors for Natural Air Circulation
At night when it is cool, keep your windows open, and consider using fans to help move hot air out and cold air in.
During the day, keep windows closed to hold the cool air in the house. Use thermal curtains in the daytime to block out heat from the sun.
If you do not have air conditioning, you can create a cross breeze to help keep you cool by placing a fan facing in on the shady side of your house and a fan facing out on the other side.
Be Smart About Your Air Conditioner
If you have a window AC unit, use it in your most popular living spaces during the day, and turn it off at night when no one is using it. Keep in mind that these may be more expensive than whole-house units, making them best for zone cooling. In a heatwave, you can always move your family to the common area that is cooled with air conditioning so you can all be comfortable.
This technique creates zone cooling that will help organize spaces, so people don’t have to compromise on comfort throughout the home during a heatwave or other extreme weather event.
Zone cooling is all the average home needs to help keep everyone comfortable in a cooler climate. Unfortunately, this method will not do much good in a climate too hot to sleep at night without air conditioning.
Replace Your Old Air Conditioning Unit With a New Energy Efficient One
If you are looking to make a substantial investment in your home, then replacing an old air conditioning unit with one that is energy-efficient can save a lot of money.
In the long run, these products will not only cost less than traditional units, but they will also do a better job of keeping you cool and comfortable while using less electricity, making this a worthy investment for most families looking for a money-saving home improvement project.
Turn Off All Lights, Electronics, and Appliances When They Are Not in Use
This is one of the easiest ways to lower your energy bill, and it can save you up to $15 each month. Turn off all lights, electronics, and appliances when they are not in use.
Teach children to turn things off, and use power strips for charging your kid’s devices so they can be shut down when your kids remove the device from the chargers. Simply being plugged in can make your devices pull energy and run up your power bill without anyone even noticing.
Get an Attic Fan
An attic fan is a great way to reduce the cost of cooling your home. Hot air naturally rises, and when you push that air out with an attic fan, you naturally create a cooling effect in your home as the hottest air can continue moving upwards.
If you have more than one attic window or space for more than one attic fan, you can use this to create a cross breeze that will naturally help pull heat out of your home to lower it several degrees.
Add Trees and Awnings
Create shade on your house with awnings and trees. This can help lower the temperature of your home by as much as 30 degrees with little effort.
If this is not an option and you still want to tackle the heat coming in on the south side, you can use thermal blackout curtains to line windows and even cover walls that tend to get hot from lack of insulation. These same curtains can help lower your heating bill in the winter, making them a great investment.
Be Mindful of the Refrigerator and Freezer
A refrigerator is one of the largest energy suckers in a home. Make sure you are being mindful of closing your fridge door quickly after use. This will help lower the temperature inside, especially if it has been opened for long periods of time or while you are cooking.
You can use hook and loop closures or baby door locks to help encourage kids to think before they open the refrigerator just to look inside.
Keep your freezer full enough so that it can trap cold air in and doesn’t have to turn on more than is necessary to keep cooked food frozen solid. Keeping ice in an ice maker outside of the main freezer is a good way to reduce how often the freezer is opened.
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