Warm weather means people start turning on the air conditioning and using more electricity. But using a lot of electricity can really hurt your wallet. There are a few tips and tricks that can help you keep your cooling bills down, without you sweating in the summertime heat.
Use a Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans use significantly less energy than air conditioning units and are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install in your home. Most fans start around $40 and are easily available at any hardware store located near you.
Make Sure Windows, Doors and Other Gaps are Well Sealed
If there are gaps in your windows and doors, that allows cool air to escape, and can really increase your energy bills. You can find do-it-yourself weather stripping and caulking materials for doors and windows at most hardware stores.
It is easy to caulk around doors and windows yourself. You should also remember other gaps, like anywhere a pipe goes into your home, as a potential spot for cold air to escape.
Keep Out Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight into a room can raise the temperature by ten to twenty degrees Farenheit. Make sure to use drapes to block out the sunlight, which are more effective than blinds.
Consider Using Solar Screening
Solar screening is a type of special mesh screening that reflects significantly more light than regular screening. This helps to block anywhere from 60% to 75% of heat from sunlight from getting inside your home.
You can find solar screening at most home improvement stores. Be careful, though, and don’t go overboard and purchase a screen that is too dark. You could end up blocking out too much light and inadvertently end up spending more money lighting your home.
Put Reflecting Film on Your Windows
You can also put reflecting film on your windows to block out some of the heat from solar energy. Good reflecting film can block out the heat but not the light, so you can still have bright, light rooms without the excess warmth.
If you pay for installation, putting reflecting film on your windows typically costs anywhere from $3.50 – $7.50 per square foot. But if you purchase the film at a hardware store and install it yourself, it is more like $1-$2 per square foot.
Use Less Light
You actually create a lot of your heat inside your home, through light bulbs and lamps. If you switch to CF (CFL) bulbs, which use 75% less energy and create anywhere from 70-90% less heat, you can be energy efficient and help reduce cooling costs in your home.
Do Chores Later in the Evening
If you wait until the evening to do certain chores like washing the dishes and doing laundry, you’ll help reduce your cooling costs. This is because home appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer all create heat when they are in use, which your air conditioner has to work to remove.
If you do those chores later in the day, however, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool your home. You can also save money by running those appliances during off-peak hours because you’re helping reduce stress on the power grid, preventing brownouts or rolling black outs.