It seems that during the hot summer months, it’s impossible to avoid the hot temperatures outside. For some, it’s difficult to escape them inside the house too. Running the air conditioning is only one way to keep your house cool, but it’s also the most expensive. We’ve listed several affordable ways to cool down your home and enjoy a comfortable temperature on even the hottest days. Save energy, reduce your electric bill, and keep the entire household happy with these money-saving tips.
Block out the sun – If you find yourself cranking up the air conditioning, and still feel yourself sweating while you watch television, chances are you’re in a room that receives an abundance of sunlight. Block out the sun rays that are heating up your room with white window shades, light blocking curtains, or reflective film. You can also cool down your home by keeping the curtains and shades closed during the hottest part of the day.
Change your light bulbs– Replace the light bulbs you have with compact fluorescent ones. These bulbs provide the same amount of light, but put off less heat and uses less energy.
Give your dryer a break – Have you ever seen the amount of energy a clothes dryer uses? Step outside and watch your meter spin out of control while the dryer is in use, and you’ll quickly understand the monetary benefits of drying your clothes on an outdoor clothes line. Ditching the dryer will also help to keep your house cool and give your clothes a fresh clean scent.
Ditch the oven – Find alternative ways to cook your supper in the hottest summer months. By not heating up the oven, you’ll keep your home cool and save on your energy bill too. Consider firing up the grill instead. Other options include cooking in a crock pot, an indoor grill, an electric rotisserie, microwave oven, or other quick-cooking alternatives.
Circulate air – If you don’t have ceiling fans, buy them. Ceiling fans can drastically reduce your energy costs and are an effective way to cool down your home in hot weather, and circulate warm air in the winter.
Redirect air flow – Switch the direction of your ceiling fan blades to revolve in a counterclockwise direction. This will help to circulate air creating a level room temperature, and make your house cool and comfortable.
Create a cross breeze – In addition to ceiling fans, use box fans, standing fans, and desk fans all around the house to create a very comfortable cross breeze. This will help to circulate cool air all around and prevent hot spots.
Block out hot air – Seal up windows and doors with weather stripping, and block out hot air with door draft protectors to keep your house cool. These products are available at a very affordable price and take just minutes to install. They will also help keep your home warm in the winter.
Change the air filter – A dirty air filter block air flow, making it difficult to cool down your home. By simply changing the air filter once a month, you’ll make your AC unit work more effectively and keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long.
Don’t make your air conditioner work overtime – Did you know that an air conditioning unit uses more electricity and works harder if it’s in direct sunlight? Plant large bushes or shrubs around the unit to keep it shaded and it will run more effectively. Take care not to block the airflow, however.
Leave the thermostat alone! – Many of us are guilty of playing with the thermostat during the day, but statistics show this can create a 3% change in energy costs with each degree in temperature change. Leave the thermostat alone and you’ll cool down your home without running up your electric bill.
More from Jennifer Wagner:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs
10 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill
Surprising Benefts of a White Room
Jennifer Wagner – Yahoo! Contributor Network