The summer months are usually hot ones and keeping your house and business cool and comfortable can be an expensive proposition as energy costs increase. You can conserve on cash, keep cool, and help the environment with these cost-conscious tips:
- Don’t be a wimp. Commit to using your air conditioning only when you really need it. Get a thermostat you can program to turn on at a certain preset temperature, and try to keep it at 80 degrees or above when you’re home during the day. Set it to a higher temperature at night and when you’re away.
- Check your fan. A ceiling fan can cool a room, but only if it’s blowing air downward so hot air moves away from you. If you’re not sure, stand beneath the fan and look up: If the fan blades are rotating counterclockwise, it’s pushing air down.
- Don’t cool everywhere. You may not need to keep the entire house or apartment cool if you use only a few rooms. Close the registers, but be careful not to block too much air, or you may cause a leak in the ducts. Talk to an A/C service professional about what’s safe.
- Limit use of appliances. Try to avoid cooking indoors, at least during the daytime. Your oven and stove will be battling your air conditioning. Use your grill or microwave to cook meals. Open up your dishwasher to let dishes air-dry instead of using heat. Run your clothes dryer at night when temperatures are cooler.
- Close your curtains. Keep shades drawn and curtains closed, especially covering windows that face west or south. This will prevent the sun from adding more heat to your house.
- Maintain an even temperature. Don’t turn your air conditioning completely off during the day even if you won’t be home. Set it to a reasonable level on days expected to be 85 degrees or higher to avoid overworking it in a hot house when you come home and turn the system back on.