With hot weather gripping most of the country, many homeowners are cranking up their home air-conditioning and this can be costly and expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to bring cooling costs down as the summer heat continues. Here are a few tips to save money while staying cool:
Install Ceiling Fans
It may seem counterproductive to add even more electric appliances in an attempt to reduce power consumption, but a ceiling fan provides a good alternative to air conditioning as well as can assist your AC unit. A ceiling fan can help reduce the temperature in a room by as much as 10 degrees by pulling hot air away from inhabitants and constantly circulating it. Using it on its own may help on days that aren’t too hot, but using it in concert with an air conditioner set on low can make the AC work less hard.
As a bonus, ceiling fans that are able to spin both clockwise and counterclockwise can also help reduce heating bills in the winter. This is because as hot air rises, running the fan in the opposite direction helps redistribute it back down to the floor of a room.
It’s a good idea to turn the AC temperature setting up a few more degrees than normal to reduce costs as well. People usually won’t notice the difference between 68 and 72 degrees, but for every degree higher it goes, cooling costs are reduced by as much as nine percent.
Keep the Sunshine Out
Many homeowners may want to let the sun into their homes to make their living spaces bright, but doing so can increase costs significantly. The greenhouse effect applies to all types of glass, so letting in sunlight heats up a room. And even if it’s only just by a few degrees, the cost can add up, especially for homes that receive direct sunlight throughout the day. Instead, it’s smart to keep the blinds closed at this time of year.
Check Under the Hood
Whether a home has a central air conditioning system or relies on a number of window units, it’s important to make sure these devices are running properly. Checking air filters as well as clearing out any nearby debris will help ensure the AC runs as efficiently as possible.
For homes with older units, it might simply be a better idea to replace them with newer and more efficient options. As with installing ceiling fans, that will require some up-front investment, but the cost benefits will really add up over time.
For homes with a central AC system, it’s also a good idea to invest in a smart programmable thermostat. Most people know it’s not efficient to run the AC all day – especially when they’re not home – but may forget to leave it running when away at work.
With a wireless-enabled smart thermostat, you control your home’s temperature from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
Get an Expert Opinion
It might be wise to have an efficiency audit on your home. Trained professionals check to make sure there are no issues with the structure of the home hat would lead to inefficient operation of an HVAC system.
These audits can identify even the tiniest cracks in seals around doors and windows or in a home’s foundation that, if patched, can dramatically boost a home’s ability to keep cool air in and hot air out. Some estimates show a typical home may have enough of these little cracks and holes to add up to the equivalent space of leaving a window open 24/7. Sealing them up is often as simple as applying a bit of caulk other sealants.
Be Smart About Food Prep
Many homeowners love to cook, but doing this activity during the summer isn’t always a good idea. Running the stove can really heat up a kitchen and that’s going to make the air conditioner work overtime to keep a desired temperature. Instead, prepare foods that don’t need to be prepared in the oven or stove.
When you did need to turn on the oven, it’s a good idea to only use it at night, when the temperature is lower.
Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com