Economizing home energy costs is important to every homeowner. During the warm weather months, running the central AC takes up more energy than any other single appliance in the home. Here are a few tips to help you reduce your energy costs while staying cool this summer:
- Close Doors and Windows: Every time you open a door or window, whether it’s to get the mail or call the kids in for dinner, you are wasting precious energy. Be wary of how often and how long you leave doors and windows open.
- Keep Windows Covered on the Sunny Side: Natural lights it great, but not at the expense of your electric bill. Keep windows covered, especially on the west side of the house.
- Seal Doors and Windows: Check out your doors and windows to assess whether new weather stripping or seals are needed. Spending a little money on these items at the home improvement store will pay off big time when that electric bill arrives.
- Close your Fireplace Damper: A fireplace damper is a direct line into your home. Many people forget about it, but closing the damper or sealing it off with something like a pillow will help keep your home cool. Just be sure to remove the pillow before starting a fire in the fall!
- Install a Programmable Thermostat: Programmable thermostats allow you to set the temperature in the home based on the time of day. Most people set theirs to reduce the use of the AC while they sleep and while they are at work. This can lower your energy bill by up to 10 percent. Programmable thermostats are relatively inexpensive, costing less than $100.
- Don’t Change the Temperature… Too Much: We’ve already told you that programmable thermostats are great, but don’t allow them to cause dramatic swings in home temperature. It takes much less energy to maintain the same temperature in your home than it does to re-cool the whole house. Set the thermostat to change no more than 2 degrees at a time.
- Take a Cool Bath: Run a cool bath or shower and chill out for 10 to 15 minutes! Once you have cooled, you will be more tolerant to higher temperatures.
- Install an Attic Ventilator Fan: If your attic is more than 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature on a hot day, you may benefit from an attic vent fan! Check out solar attic fans (about $200) or gable attic fans (about $50) and learn more about how an attic vent can help you!