Save money and power this summer with a few easy tricks!
By Zachary Moore, Contributing Columnist
The dog days of summer can be a real drain on your energy — in every sense of the word.
If it’s too hot to do anything besides sit in front of a fan and eat ice pops, keeping your home cool may be a drain on your wallet, as well.
If your air-conditioning unit is working overtime to keep your home cool, there are some simple tips to ensure your HVAC system runs optimally. Make sure to change the air filters and get your unit serviced regularly. That will potentially help with the strain on your system.
There are also several easy tricks that almost anyone can use to keep the blistering heat outside where it belongs.
The ideal thermostat temperature for summer when at home is 78 degrees. This is the sweet spot between staying cool and keeping your energy bill low. — U.S. Department of Energy
INSTALL BLACKOUT CURTAINS
Blackout curtains are relatively cheap and easy to install. If placed in rooms with the most direct sunlight, they could keep your home substantially darker and, therefore, cooler.
FIRE UP THE GRILL
If you’re trying to keep your home cool, you want to limit the amount of heat you create inside it. On the hottest days of summer, conventional ovens and stovetops can create more work for your AC. Firing up the grill keeps the heat outside, and let’s be honest — food tastes better when it’s cooked over an open flame, anyway.
KEEP ELECTRONICS AWAY FROM YOUR THERMOSTAT
It may sound odd, but even something as small as a lamp emits heat. If placed by your thermostat, it could trick your unit into thinking your house is hotter than it actually is, leading to wasted energy.
USE CEILING FANS
Ceiling fans can provide a great deal of comfort via air circulation, and they use less energy than your thermostat. But remember to turn them off when you leave. Overhead fans don’t actually cool a room, they just provide airflow.
INSTALL A SMART THERMOSTAT
Smart thermostats can be programmed to provide the maximum efficiency at certain times of day, taking one less burden off your mind.