The peak of summer is here and while everyone wants to stay cool in their homes, it’s also the time of year that air conditioning prices skyrocket. However, you can still stay cool without the expense of your savings. Keep your pocket and home cool with these tips:
1. Replace your traditional incandescent light bulbs – CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) and LED (light emitting diodes) lights, they will not only last you after the summer, but will last you for years – saving you money on replacing bulbs. Switching to energy efficient light bulbs can lower your cooling costs as well – only 10% of the energy from traditional light bulbs is used for light, the rest is wasted as heat. Making the switch to CFLs and LEDs gives off less heat and reduces your need for air conditioning.
2. Install outdoor solar lighting – if you can, take advantage of the longer hours of sun by installing solar panels. They’re easy to install, relatively maintenance free, and provide free electricity while being environmentally conscientious.
3. Switch to a high-efficiency air conditioner – doing this can reduce your energy use by 20 – 50 percent while saving you money!
4. Place trees, shrubs, and plants around your home – by strategically placing plants around your home, you can reduce heat radiation and cool the air before heat can even get to your home’s walls and windows.
5. Properly insulate and air seal your home – by keeping more cool air inside of your home, less hot air will circulate resulting in less use of your AC.
6. Use your windows to keep cool air in and keep heat out – if you’re in an area where it gets cool at night, turn off your AC and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake up, shut the windows and blinds to keep the cool air in. You can also install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows as well.
7. Operate your thermostat efficiently – set your thermostat high enough where you still feel comfortable at home. It’s recommended to set your thermostat at 78 degrees only while you’re at home and need cooling. When you turn on your air conditioning, avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal, as it won’t cool your home any faster and result in unnecessary expense.
8. Turn on your fan – fans circulate air in a room and create a wind chill effect that makes occupants more comfortable. Whole house fans pull air in through windows and exhaust it through a home’s attic. Fans cool people – not rooms, so only have them on when you’re in the room.
For more information on how to keep your home cool, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s tips for home cooling.
Written by SBS Marketing Intern: Marielle Medina