In the Midwest this year, it seems that we went from the dead of winter and fast forwarded into spring & summer. The importance of heat for the last few months turns into how to keep the house as cool as possible without have an exceptionally large utility bill. Below are ways to stay cool & maximize your home energy savings!
Learn to operate your thermostat efficiently
The smaller the difference in change between the outdoor & indoor temperature in your home the lower your energy bill will be.
- Keeping your home warmer when you are away and programming your thermostat to cool shortly before your family arrives home should be your first priority.
- Do not set your thermostat to a really cold setting thinking it will expedite the cooling process of your home because it will not cool it any faster, but it will raise your utility bill significantly.
Treat your windows as a form of air conditioning as well!
- Covering your windows so the sun is not allowed to penetrate into your home will keep your home at a comfortable temperature that not having some sort of window treatment.
- When the humidity is not at unreasonable levels and it cools down at night, turn off your AC and open up the windows in your home for a comfortable night’s sleep. When you awake in the morning, close the windows and shades trapping that cool air inside.
Fans are your friend if used correctly
- If you have AC, using a ceiling fan in tandem with it will allow you to raise your thermostat up to 4 degrees higher without even noticing and heat gain.
- When showering or bathing use the bathroom fan to remove the heat & moisture from you home. Be sure that your fans vent outside and not just into your attic.
- To help produce a comfortable breeze or “wind chill” make sure the blades of your fan are in “reverse” in a counter-clockwise motion. A ceiling fan will not cool a room, but it will allow improved air circulation greatly improving the comfort of your living space.
Maintenance of your AC unit
Having an air conditioning unit that is not operating at its top potential is more detrimental than you think. Keeping your AC unit running at full capacity also helps to lower the humidity level in your home and remove dirt & dust through its filters.
- Avoid placing such things as televisions or lamps near your thermostat for your AC unit because it senses the heat from appliances like them, and therefore, runs longer and harder than necessary.
- Clean your register regularly to remove dust and keep furniture and other objects that could block it restricting its airflow.
Re-think using home appliances & lighting
- On really warm days, try to avoid using anything that will increase the temperature in your home, such as the oven. If you have to cook in your home use your stove or microwave, or the best option yet, would be your grill outdoors.
- Change out your light bulbs, eliminating incandescent lighting by switching to LED’s. Only about 10-15% of the electricity produced for incandescent lights results in light and the rest of the energy is turned into heat!
- Be more efficient with your laundry and dishwashers by only doing full loads instead of smaller ones. Also, put up a clothes line for drying clothes and avoid the dryer all together on hot days.
- Most importantly, try and use natural daylight as much as possible during the summer months to help conserve energy and avoid heating up the inside of your home.