There are few more satisfying feelings than coming into an air conditioned home after a long day outside in the hot summer sun. Modern air conditioning has made life during the hot summer months bearable, even enjoyable, for most Americans. However, all that cooling isn’t cheap; in fact, heating and cooling costs make up almost half of most people’s energy bills. One of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of your cooling is lowering the amount of work you’re A/C unit has to put in to cool your house. In order to get the most out of your home’s climate controlling system and save some money every month, you can apply some simple tricks to keep your home cooler in the hot summer months:
As simple as it sounds, blocking the sun can be one of the easier and most effective ways to reduce the temperature of your home. This is especially true when using reflective curtains or window shades, because regular curtains will absorb some of the heat and radiate into the room anyway. If you don’t want to close every window, just try to keep the windows on the side of the house that is currently in direct sunlight covered and adjust as the day goes on.
Keep lights off
Apart from the sun itself, light bulbs generate the most heat in modern U.S. homes. This is especially true if your rooms have bright ceiling mounted lighting the light up the entire room. Try to keep the lights off in rooms that are not in use, and use smaller light sources such as lamps when you need light. These smaller lights won’t light up the entire room but will generate a lot less heat and save you money.
Insulate your windows and doors
A surprising amount of cool air is lost to leaks around doors and windows, and this can cause your house to heat up a lot faster than it should. Air flows from warm places to cool places, meaning that all the warm air outside is racing inside your cool home and heating it up! Check the seals on your windows and doors by putting your hand around the edges and feel for air flow. These leaks can be sealed using basic silicon caulk.
Close unused air vents
Close the air vents in rooms that are not being used so your air conditioner does not waste resources cooling where nobody is. This can be useful in walk in closets, guest rooms, or basements that do not see much use. Just be sure to apply the previous three tips in these rooms too so warm air does not leak out of these rooms.
If its cooler outside than inside, open the windows!
While it will likely be warmer outside than inside your house, it is still possible for your house to be warmer inside that outs due to internal heat generators like computers, TVs, and lights as we discussed earlier. In this case, do not waste energy trying to push your A/C unit harder; just open a few windows and add a fan or two and you should feel your house cooling down in no time.
Switch to CFL bulbs
CFL bulbs not only use a lot less energy than traditional light bulbs but they also generate less heat. If you must have a lot of lights on during the summer months switching those light fixtures to CFL bulbs could make a big difference in keeping the room cool.