As the dog days of summer visit your area, it’s difficult to ignore the sizzling temperature in your indoor space. No one likes to be hot and sweaty, so it’s natural for homeowners to turn up their AC and let the cool air circulate through the home. While using your AC to maintain your indoor temperature will undoubtedly make you feel comfortable, the solution becomes less attractive when you receive your electric bill at the end of the month. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans spend approximately $40 billion annually on air conditioning, which translates to the stunning figure of over 183 billion kilowatt-hours. However, keeping your home comfortable doesn’t need to cost you a bundle. Try these tricks to slash back your energy costs this summer while staying cool and happy.
1) Operate Your Thermostat Strategically
The first way to lower your utility bill is by keeping the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures minimal. Program your thermostat in such a way to reflect your daily routine so that it automatically turns off when you are gone. U.S. News & World Report has found just doing these two things can reduce your annual cooling bill by 30%.
2) Plant Tall Trees around the House
Reduce direct contact of solar heat with your roof by improving plantings around your home. Because most of the heat is transferred through the roof, you want to plant leafy, 15 to 20 feet trees to shade your home. If the shade also covers your air conditioner, your AC’s efficiency can be boosted up by approximately 10%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
3) Quick, Easy Cooking
Cooking takes up heat and energy which can dramatically warm up your house. Turning on the oven heats up the rest of the house and forces your air conditioner to go into overdrive. Instead of using the oven or making a big fancy meal, consider using your outdoor grill. If you still need to make something indoors, a toaster oven or the stovetop are better alternatives because they give off less heat than the oven.
4) Keep Your Cool Air Concentrated
It takes much more energy to cool down the entire house than it does to cool a specific area. During the peak heat, try to restrict your activity to certain areas in the house. Close the doors and the vents of any unused rooms to enjoy a cool indoor space without overworking your AC.
5) Dress up Your Windows
Stop the sun rays from penetrating your windows by using awnings, drapes, and other shades. Additionally, solar screens, or mesh-like window screens can intercept up to 70 percent of solar energy. Keep your windows tightly shut to prevent heat infiltration and cool air loss.
6) Use the Fans
Use your ceiling fans to circulate the cool air around the house. According to CheatSheet.com, “Fans use a lot less electricity than an air conditioner. If you strategically place your fans in your house, it can keep cool air circulating in the house, preventing your home from getting too warm.”