Getting your electric bill is never fun, but it can be especially tough in the summer if your air conditioner is running constantly. While the best way to lower this bill is often purchasing a new air conditioner, it is not the only way. There are plenty of simple steps you can take to lower your energy costs in the summer without sinking a large amount of money into it.
Save Chores For Cooler Times
Most chores generate heat. The dryer, dishwasher and vacuum cleaner all warm up your home during the very time that you want to keep things as cool as possible. Even basic things like cooking a meal, especially if it involves baking, can raise the temperature in your home by several degrees. This can put additional pressure on an already taxed air conditioner.
The hotter it is outside, the harder your air conditioner has to work to provide you with cool air. To a certain extent, this is an unavoidable situation-- you need to keep your home reasonably cool even on blisteringly hot days. What you can control is how much you contribute to the situation. Saving chores that generate heat for the cooler morning and evening hours will allow you to complete your to-do list, but your air conditioner won't have to work nearly as hard to counteract the effects of the generated heat.
Open the Windows at Night
Your air conditioner is a great way to maintain the air temperature in your home, but it is not the only way. Once the sun goes down, things often cool off quickly outside. In some cases, it might even get cooler out side than it is inside. When this happens, you have a great opportunity to shut off the air conditioner and open the windows instead.
The downside of this strategy is that you need to remember to close them back up again in the morning, before it gets hot outside again. However, this is a worthwhile compromise. Not only do you save money by shutting off the air conditioner for a few hours, but you also get the benefit of getting some fresh air into your home. Newer homes are tightly sealed in order to maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system. While this is a good thing, it does mean that the air inside your home can actually get more polluted than the air outside. Even in the modern world of cars and industry, opening up your windows to get some fresh air once in awhile is a good idea.
Use Your Ceiling Fans to Keep Cool
Another strategy for lowering your air conditioning costs is to allow the temperature inside your home to go up by a few degrees. The bigger the difference in temperature between the inside and outside of your home, the harder your air conditioner will have to work to maintain it. Good insulation will counteract this a bit, but it can only go so far. For most homes, you could save 10 to 15 percent of our energy costs by changing the thermostat just a couple degrees.
In order to stay comfortable with these new settings, you can make use of the tool you probably already have-- your ceiling fan. The cool breeze from the fan will make the room feel significantly cooler than it really is, so you won't actually notice the temperature distance. Just be sure to turn the fan off when you leave the room as it will no longer be of any assistance when you aren't sitting in the generated breeze.
Making your life more energy efficient does take some effort, but once these practices become habit, the only thing you will notice is the lower energy bills. Modern life is busy and it can be tough to make time for the simple things like this. However, once you do, you'll have more energy and money available to you to face the tougher challenges in your life.
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