In hot and sunny climates, you will likely see a sharp rise in electricity costs in the long summer months. When you’ve been out working, running errands all day or even lounging on the beach, your first instinct upon walking in the door might be to crank up that air conditioner to start cooling things down. However, there are some tricks you can employ to stay cool without breaking the bank. Here are some things to keep in mind when you feel like the heat is getting a little out of control.
Turn off Unnecessary Electronics
Many household appliances generate heat and waste energy simply by being plugged in. Your television, computers and various speakers and sound systems often suck up energy and create heat even when they are in standby mode. Using a power strip for your television and surrounding devices, such as a cable box and DVR recorder, will allow you to flip the switch on that standby power and help prevent unnecessary heat from being generated. While newer models of computers and televisions are less of a problem in this department than they used to be, they can still produce completely superfluous energy, which in turn generates heat.
Use Your Air Conditioning Unit Efficiently
To really cut down on costs, try to expand your comfort zone just a little. By turning up your AC a few degrees, you can save a serious buck or two. The greater the difference between the outside and inside temperature, the harder your air conditioner has to work, resulting in a higher electricity bill. If you can still be comfortable in 76 degrees rather than 72, you can go a long way in saving energy. It is also important to give your HVAC system a regular tune up. Keeping the machinery in top form will ensure the system is running efficiently. Many HVAC servicing companies offer free in-home or online repair estimates for potential customers to see if their appliances are in tip-top shape.
Use Wind Chill to Your Advantage
Ceiling fans and other circulating fans can make a room feel much cooler than it is. They don’t do anything to actually change the temperature, but the circulating air can have a cooling effect. A strategically placed fan can even help you circulate the cool air of the HVAC system more efficiently. Like any other electronic device, make sure you remember to turn the fan off when you leave the house to keep the electricity bill low.
Close the Blinds
Reflective blinds can reduce heat by almost 50%. Closing the curtains and pulling the blinds in the mid-day heat can really go a long way in cooling off your home. If wandering around a dark house in the middle of a summer’s day does not appeal to you, work on at least keeping the blinds pulled in the rooms not designed for entertaining. Not allowing the sun into your home will prevent that outdoor heat from being able to radiate inside.
With a few thoughtful adjustments, your home can feel pleasant and cool all summer long without breaking the bank. By keeping your HVAC units in top condition and making small modifications to your daily routine, you can avoid the sweltering summer heat more efficiently.