Keeping your home comfortable during the summer can cause an increase in your power bill, but there are several things you can do to reduce cooling costs. Most of these tasks can be done on your own, making it easy to save money this season.
Air Conditioning Maintenance
If you have an exterior AC unit, clean it off and check the lines and cords for cracks or damage. If they are beginning to look worn, call a professional to inspect them. Indoors, replace the filter as recommended by the manufacturer, and clean vents with a vacuum brush or duster. To perform a deeper cleaning on the air vents, turn off the power to the unit. Remove the vent covers, wash them in warm soapy water, vacuum vent openings, and replace the covers when completely dry. Maintaining this system is one of the most effective ways to reduce summer cooling costs.
Replace your old thermostat with a “smart” one. These devices connect to Wi-Fi and allow you to adjust the temperature remotely. They are simple to configure and some can connect to other smart devices. Setting the hours of operation will help reduce cooling costs by raising the thermostat temperature during the evenings or when you are not at home. Some models can detect when no one is home and adjust the temperature automatically. This is a handy feature for busy families with ever-changing schedules. Adjusting the temperature by just a few degrees can make a significant difference in the electrical bill, and it will hardly be noticeable inside the home.
Reduce Cooling Costs With Window Treatments
Shades and curtains can make a big difference in your home’s temperature. Closing them during the hottest part of the day will block heat from the sun. Invest in blackout shades for the most protection. Older windows can let heat in through cracks and gaps around the frame. Check the panes and if the caulking is dried and cracking, repair it. To re-caulk the glass, scrape out the old caulk because the new application will not stick to it. Gently remove it with a putty knife. The easiest way to reapply caulk is from a tube that you squeeze with a caulking gun. Reduce summer cooling costs by upgrading your windows to double panes. Doing this can be costly, but your expenses will be recouped over time with lower monthly electrical bills every season. Contact your local energy supplier to see if they offer rebates for switching to energy-efficient products.
Ceiling fans and freestanding models are economical ways to keep your home comfortable. During the early morning hours, late evenings, or on mild days, fans may keep your home cool enough without having to turn down the AC. Set your ceiling fan to rotate in a counterclockwise direction during warm weather. This will circulate the air down into the room, creating a wind-chill effect. Reversing the direction of the ceiling fans to clockwise will help heat your home more efficiently during the winter. Fan blades can attract dust, so clean them throughout the summer. Manufacturers make long-handled ceiling fan dusters so that you do not have to climb a ladder. To clean a standalone fan, unplug it, remove the front grill, which is either screwed or clipped on, and wipe down the blades.
Adjust Cooking Habits to Reduce Cooling Costs
Turning on the stove or oven heats the house, even if you run the exhaust fan. On especially warm days, use another form of cooking. Grilling outdoors is a popular summertime activity. Some other low-heat producing ways to cook indoors are using the crockpot and the microwave.