Summer is just around the corner and as the heat begins to rise so will your electricity bill. The question is how do we stay cool in summer without forking out thousands of dollars to use our air-conditioning? Don’t sweat it! We have come up with a guide on how to reduce your bill without sacrificing your comfort.
1) Upgrade and seal your windows
First step is to ensure that all windows do not have any small gaps for cool air to escape from. By sealing the windows with either caulk or weather stripping, you can cut energy usages by up to 5-10% for as cheap as $30. If you are willing to spend a little more upfront for a greater reward upgrading old windows (usually only have 1 pane of glass) to new windows that have 2-3 panes (insulating glass in-between) can be extremely beneficial in the long run as less heat is lost around the edges.
2) Install shutters & shade
Exterior or interior shutters provide a shield against the sunlight blocking it before it even hits the glass. Along with shutters, the screen mesh on your windows can also be replaced with solar screening which actually blocks up to 70% of the heat from sunlight. If you’re looking for a more aesthetic approach, installing curtains or blinds can reduce the amount of sunlight coming through.
3) Programmable Thermostat
Install a programmable thermostat! This will allow you to control the temperature while you’re away or asleep. Some can even be operated from your smart phone or tablet with the appropriate apps installed. By using a programmable thermostat you can save up to 10% on your year round heating and cooling costs.
4) Use those fans
You may think why would I use a ceiling fan, doesn’t it just blow hot air around? Using a ceiling fan actually circulates the cool air around, taking some of the burden off your air conditioning system. Even a basic standing fan or desk fan can assist, obviously in extreme heat it may not do much but it will make you feel several degrees cooler by blowing away the warm air that accumulates around your body.
5) Replace HVAC Filters
You should be replacing the HVAC filters at least every couple of months. HVAC air filters assist by preventing dust from blocking your vents and promoting better air circulation. If the filters are dirty or blocked then your system will have to work twice as hard to circulate the air. Replacing these regularly can also reduce costs of repairs and maintenance as they are cheap and easy to replace.
6) Install solar panels
Solar panels speak for themselves, by using the sun’s energy to power your home, you can greatly reduce your electricity bill. The price for installing solar panels will depend on the system you purchase and the amount you save will depend on your energy usage but in the long run it may be worth your while.
7) Cooking outdoors
Avoid cooking indoors as stovetops and ovens generate a lot of heat, which can cause strain on your air-conditioning system. Summer is a great time for cooking outdoors; make use of that barbeque you bought or that grill that is sitting in the shed. If you are going to cook inside then use appliances that produce less heat, for example crockpots or electric griddles.