I look forward to the fun and sun of summer. This time of year is all about barbecues, gardening, and outdoor games. The one thing I dread the most is using the air conditioner. The electric bills from June through August will give any homeowner the summertime blues. I cannot think of any reason why I should have to continually throw away money to the utility company every year without giving the excessive heat a good fight. Once the local temperature gets warm, I usually open all the windows and turn on the ceiling fans installed throughout the home. The air conditioning does not get turned on unless the temperature and more importantly the humidity becomes outright unbearable. Even at these extremes I found money savings in using the air conditioning strictly at night so I can good some decent sleep. Well there are some key steps one can take to lower air conditioning costs.
Appliances are some of the biggest heat sources to your home. Do yourself a favor and decrease usage of oven and stove. Prepare more meals using the outdoor grill. If you don’t have the time for grilling out, then prepare cool dinners such as chef salads or cold sandwiches with raw fruit or vegetables. Not only will these meals keep the kitchen cool, they will also cool down the body temperature. One might even eat healthier in the process.
The dishwasher should also be used less frequently in the summer if possible. Try to omit using the heated dry cycle and opt for a natural dry. Even more beneficial to a cool kitchen is washing dishes by hand. Pick a partner to wash or dry and strike up a conversation during this process.
Walk the home and inspect all appliances for unnecessary heat. This may involve changing up old energy wasting light bulbs and replacing with energy efficient lights. Also consider a thermal blanket for your water heater. These heaters throw out a lot of heat which will spike temperatures in the home. The thermal blanket installation will also benefit you with avoiding heat loss in the winter.
The sun has a way of beating down a home’s ability to stay cool. Try and keep window drapes and blinds closed during peak sunlight hours as this will deflect unwanted additional heat. Also make sure the attic and walls are properly insulated as this will keep cool air from escaping. If you are living in a home that you plan on staying in for many years, it might be a good idea to plant a few shade trees in your yard. This will cut down on solar exposure to your roof and siding. Unfortunately you may not receive the benefit of shade trees for a long time.
Keeping cool can be remedied by changing daily behavioral habits during a hot summer day. Try and spend more time in the coolest part of the home. For many this may be the basement or lower level that is just naturally cool. You may want to designate this as your summertime hangout. If you do not have a lower level, consider spending time in rooms that have more shade or receive cross breezes. This will allow you to turn off the ac and pop open a few windows.
If the dog days of summer have you cranking up your ac, consider spending time at other locations where you can get cooled down for free. I like to venture out to the public library or indoor mall. Just before leaving for these destinations, bump up the thermostat to about 75 or so. If the weather is not too dreadfully hot, turn it off completely until you return.
Air Conditioner – Maintenance
Finally you should have your air conditioning unit maintained and cleaned for optimal performance. Those units that have not been serviced for a long time can be sluggish and inefficient due to dust and dirt covering the coils to the unit. While the technician is performing this service, also consider installation of a programmable thermostat. This will allow you to keep the home cool when you want. The cost of hiring a HVAC technician to perform such service is money well spent as you will regain this money back very quickly.
ACs require servicing every few months because they get rusted up during the winter season as the dust particles and polluted air from the surroundings gets accumulated inside so go for maintenance before it goes out of hand or better still purchase a new blaux portable ac for a change.