Adventures in Home Owning: Ways to Save Money on Cooling Your House
The summer months are upon us, and with them come some of the most rewarding parts of our journey as homeowners: nights spent out on patios and porches, burgers and vegetables sizzling on the grill, cool pools and whirring water sprinklers. However, these warm, sultry months also come with their own challenges. After all, how can we enjoy the festivities of the season with the burden of a massive electric bill hanging over our heads? Fear not, homeowner, we come armed with a few tips and tricks that will maximize your home’s cooling potential and minimize your expenses, ensuring that you can keep your cool through the heat of the summer.
Arm your house against the daily barrage of heat. Make sure that curtains and shades are drawn during the daytime hours. Using insulated and lighter colored shades will help to deflect the sun’s light from your home and prevent solar heat gain within the house. While shades and blinds may be your best ally during daylight, open windows will benefit your nights. By opening windows in your home during the cooler evening hours you allow cross-breezes to carry the warmer air out of the home and replace it with fresh evening air.
Maximize the effects of any additional cooling appliances. If your home is equipped with central air or an air conditioning unit, make sure that the filters are replaced regularly. Dirty filters can make air conditioning units work harder to pump out cooler air. Changing them once a month can reduce your energy consumption anywhere from 5% to 15%. If you have a ceiling or standalone fans these can be a great tool to fight the summer heat. A well-positioned standalone fan next to an air conditioning unit can help to create a cross-breeze within the home, bringing cooler air into additional rooms. Similarly, a ceiling or standalone fan at night provides a wind-chill effect, making that warm summer air seem cooler when positioned towards beds and living spaces.
Be aware of your home’s weaknesses and use them to your advantage. Do you have windows that are drafty in the winter? Places in the molding where wind whistles through? Using a simple caulk gun to fill in any leaks around windows can prevent heat from entering the home. If you’re unsure of whether your home has any leaks you can schedule an energy audit with local energy providers, or simply take a lit candle next to any suspicious areas. Once blown out, if the smoke is traveling anywhere other than towards the ceiling you know that you have air leaking into your house.
By following these tips and tricks you can still have a break-through summer without breaking your budget. Until next time, homeowner!