How to Decrease Your Summer Cooling Costs
Posted By Macey Farnsworth on June 13th, 2019
You’ve probably noticed that the cost of electricity seems higher than ever! You also realize that keeping your home cool in the summer can cost a fortune.
If you want to keep your home cool without sacrificing your peace of mind, then there’s good news. You’re about to learn some of the best ways to keep your home cool without breaking the bank.
Clean or Replace the Air Filters on Your AC Unit
If your AC unit has dirty filters, then two bad things are going to happen. First, your AC unit is going to have to work much harder to cool the air which will wear out your unit faster. Second, your electricity cost is also going to increase because your AC is working harder than it needs to.
Fortunately, cleaning the filter on your AC unit is quick and easy to do. If the filter of your AC unit is old or if you can’t easily clean it, then get filter replacements.
Cook Outside Instead of Inside
One of the worst things you can do when combating the high cost of cooling your home is to cook indoors. Not only can firing up the electric oven cause your electric bill to rise, but you’ll also heat your home as a result.
Instead of using that electric oven, look to cook outside using a charcoal or propane grill. Cooking outdoors can be one of the best ways to enjoy the weather outside, while also keeping your home nice and cool.
Want some easy hacks to avoid using your electric oven?
- Grill some of your favorite food outside.
- Prepare some delicious cold sandwiches.
- Never forget the beauty of a simple salad.
- Order food at your favorite restaurant.
- Look for easy to prepare microwaveable meals.
Use Fans to Cool Off
Fans can be an excellent way to help circulate the air in your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a ceiling fan allows you to turn up your thermostat by four degrees without any difference in comfort.
Remember that a fan doesn’t decrease the temperature, it only creates a draft that feels good. So, when you leave the room, be sure to turn your fan off.
Related Story: 5 Low-Cost Summer Vacations
Turn Off Electricity Draining Devices
Are you using your washing machine, dryer, hairdryer, dishwasher or other heavy appliances during the day? Do yourself a favor and turn these devices off during daylight hours. Try your best to use heavy appliances at night only.
When you use large appliances during the day, you’re generating heat inside of your home. The heat that the appliances make combines with the heat of the sun, which makes your AC unit work even harder.
Also, consider finding alternatives to using heavy appliances. Instead of using a dishwasher, consider washing and drying your dirty dishes by hand. Instead of drying your clothes with a dryer, consider drying them outside on a clothes hanger.
Keep Yourself Cool
During the summer months, it can be so hot that we neglect the simpler things. For example, here are a handful of tricks to help keep yourself cool without spending a fortune on electricity.
- Invest in a cooling pillow like this one.
- Try to wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
- Keep a chilled skin lotion in your fridge.
- Be sure to drink plenty of cold water.
- Instead of hot food, snack on iced fruit or sherbet.
- Don’t overexert yourself when working outdoors.
Invest in Blackout Curtains or Drapes
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to lower your cooling costs is to keep the heat outside. The solar heat from the sun pounding on your home will increase the temperature inside big time.
Aim to keep your home cool by blocking out the sun. You can help block the sun by investing in blackout curtains or medium to heavy drapes. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, investing in the right kind of drapes can reduce added heat from the sun by 33 percent! Blocking the sun can be a huge deal, and an easy way to stay cool without a big budget.
Prevent Hot Air from Sneaking and Leaking Inside
One of the smartest ways to keep your home cool is to seal any leaks. Check your windows and doors, or any known openings around your home.
Make sure that there aren’t any areas where hot air is getting in, or cold air is going out. You should apply caulk or weather stripping to seal up any drafty leaks.
Make Sure Any New Cooling Units Are Energy Star Certified
If you’re in the market to buy new cooling units for your home, make sure that they’re Energy Star certified! Energy Star certification will ensure that your cooling unit is energy efficient.
For a full range of cooling units that are Energy Star certified, check out the official list of Energy Star certified products.
What types of cooling units does Energy Star certify?
- Air conditioner window units.
- Central air conditioner units.
- Ventilation fans.
- Smart thermostats.
Turn Up Your Thermostat
According to the City of San Diego, turning your thermostat up just two degrees can help save 5% on your electric bill. A 5% reduction might not seem like a big deal. However, if your electric bill is too high, then a two-degree increase might be worth trying.
Ask Your Electric Company for a Budget-Billing Program
One final tip is to consider using a budget-billing program with your electric company. A budget-billing program evenly spreads your monthly electric bill throughout the year.
A budget-billing program can be an excellent way to manage electric costs year-round predictably. An electric budget plan won’t allow you to pay less. But, a budget-plan can help to stop any stressful cost spikes during the summer months.