Summer is officially here and that means the heat is cranking up. Running your air conditioner all the time can drown you with your electric bill, but not running it at all can drown you with uncomfortable heat and humidity. Fortunately, there are easy ways to make your home more comfortable and still cut back on AC use.
For starters, if you have a fan, use it. Running a fan in conjunction with the AC may seem counter intuitive (using more energy), but it actually allows you to run the AC less often and lower your thermostat up to 4°F. A blowing fan creates a wind chill when it is blowing on you. In addition, it helps better circulate colder air in a room. However, if there’s no one in the room, the fan is pretty much a waste, so only use on in populated rooms.
Next, you’ll want to make sure you check, clean, and replace filters. Air filters reduce the spread of dust and allergens, but they become clogged with use. When the filter is clogged, it reduces airflow, which makes the AC much less effective. It’s best to check them monthly, but some homes may be able to go up to three months before needing a check up.
Lowering the temperature on your water heater about 20°F won’t make much difference in the temperature of your showers or the capabilities of your washers. That 20° can make a lot of difference in energy use, though. Taking shorter showers and only running full loads in washers will also reduce water waste and by proxy, energy. A lot of energy goes into heating water, so the less we use, the more we save.
Finally, block sunlight from heating up your home during the day by using curtains or blinds. Cook outdoors to keep from adding heat to the interior of your home. Take advantage of solar energy by drying clothes outdoors. There are so many ways to save energy and for the most part, they won’t cost you a thing!