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With summertime upon us once again, many households are going out of their way to stay cool. In many cases, this entails cranking up the air conditioning – which, while effective, can result in enormous cooling costs. While never using AC simply isn’t feasible in many parts of the country, there are numerous steps you can take to minimize the strain on your air conditioner – and power bills. Anyone in the market for a cooler home and reduced energy costs should put the following pointers into practice.
Keep Your Blinds Closed
While wanting to bask in the gorgeous summertime scenery is perfectly understandable, keeping your blinds open during the sun’s peak hours is liable to make your home even hotter, thereby requiring your AC to work even harder. With this in mind, make a point of keeping your blinds closed during the daylight hours, particularly between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. If your home is located in an area that receives a fair amount of sunlight, consider installing blackout screens on your windows whenever summer rolls around.
Install Energy-Efficient Windows
At the outset, energy-efficient windows are liable to seem like a pricey investment. However, spending a little bit of money in the short term stands to save you a substantial sum in the long run. While energy-efficient windows tend to be more expensive than standard windows, their presence can have a noticeable impact on heating and cooling costs. Throughout the summer months, these windows will prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from entering. Similarly, during the winter, energy-efficient windows will help keep cold air from finding its way into your home, making them essential for people who live in colder parts of the country.
Install Ceiling Fans
There are numerous benefits to investing in dependable ceiling fans. In addition to acting as effective cooling tools in their own right, these fans can help circulate cool air throughout your entire home. Furthermore, setting your fans to run counter-clockwise during the summer months will create a cooling breeze effect. If you’re curious about how to install a ceiling fan, consult an expert or seek out a good online tutorial.
Don’t Waste AC on Unused Areas
There’s a good chance your home’s air conditioning system is working a lot harder than it needs to. While leaving doors open can be helpful for airflow, there’s no sense in cooling parts of your home that aren’t in use. With this in mind, close the doors to any unused rooms while the AC is running. This will limit cool airflow to areas that are in use and prevent your air conditioner from expending needless effort.
Open Your Windows at Night
Some areas see a dramatic difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures, and if your locale is among them, you should take advantage of this. Instead of leaving the AC on overnight, simply open your windows – provided, of course, protective screens are in place – and allow your ceiling fans to circulate the cool air throughout your home.
Limit the Use of Certain Appliances
Certain appliances can contribute to high temperatures in your home – most notably, washers, dryers and ovens. As such, it’s recommended that you abstain from using them during the daylight hours. If not using your oven while the sun is out isn’t an option, use your kitchen’s exhaust fan to expel the hot air it generates. Given summertime’s abundance of agreeable weather, backyard grilling can be a decent alternative to oven use during this period.
Ditch Traditional Light Bulbs
In addition to wasting electricity and being harmful to the environment, traditional incandescent light bulbs can make your home hotter. Not only are compact fluorescents longer-lasting and more energy-efficient, they’re not nearly as conducive to heat build-up. They may cost a little more upfront, but the long-term savings should be well worth the short-term expense.
Keeping a consistently cool residence can be an uphill battle throughout the summertime. When it comes to keeping cool, many of us believe that air conditioning is the only viable option. While it’s true that dependable AC plays an important role in cooling homes, it’s far from the only tool at your disposal. In the interest of giving your air conditioning system a break and reducing your summertime energy costs, consider taking some of the measures discussed above.