We've been feeling the summer heat and humidity. It is just a fact of life for many folks this time of year.
Many air conditioning units are running hard and the sticker shock of the power bill can give one heart palpitations. There are some things we can do to help keep our home cool, lower the power bill and survive the heat and humidity.
Pick one temperature and leave your thermostat on that temperature for the day and night
Many people leave their thermostat set higher when they are not at home during the day. Believe it or not, this can cause your system to use more energy and drive up your cooling costs.
Keeping your thermostat on a consistent setting helps reduce energy use for cooling because the HVAC system isn't have to do double time pulling out the buildup of heat from the higher "no one home" setting.
Make sure your HVAC system has clean filters
Clean air filters allow your HVAC system to work more efficiently and use less power. Dirty air filters lead to higher power consumption and longer cooling times because air isn't easily passing through the filter.
Set your ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise
Hot air rises and cold air sinks. Using your ceiling fan will help equalize the distribution of the hot and cold air. Nobody likes cold feet and a hot head!
Keep curtains and blinds closed
Experts estimate that up to 30% of heat from outside can creep into your home through your windows. Keeping your curtains and blinds closed will help keep your home cooler.
Vent the hot air outside
Using bathroom fans to vent the hot air that gathers near the ceiling can help keep things cooler. For those with a second story, this can really help keep the upper floor cooler. I turn on my bathroom fans upstairs in the early evening hours. This helps vent the built-up heat of the day.
Remember, hot air rises and your second floor is often hotter than your main floor.
Close doors to unused rooms in your home
This can be a big help if you are not using an extra bedroom or bathroom. Make sure you close the A/C vents in rooms you don't use.
Cook outdoors if you can
The kitchen is a big source of heat for the house. During the colder months, cooking and baking can help warm your home. But, in the summer, the kitchen can really add to the cost of keeping cool. If you do have to cook, cook meals during the coolest part of the day. Store the meals and then re-heat in the microwave later.
These are just a few tips you can use to keep cool through the summer months. If your efforts pay off, you should be able to reduce your summer cooling costs.