In the summertime, it's fun to be outside fishing, swimming, reading, barbecuing, and otherwise making the most of the beautiful weather. It's also nice to open the door of your home or office and step into a cool atmosphere on especially hot days. Unfortunately, you may find that your energy bill goes up in the summertime once the AC kicks on. Here are some simple things you can do to reduce your energy bills while still enjoying a comfortable atmosphere in your home or office.
- Plant Trees or Shrubs on the South or West Side of Your Home. Planting trees and shrubs on the south or west side of your house blocks sunlight, lowering the temperature inside your home. I like the idea of beautifying your property with trees and shrubs while lowering your energy bill; don't you?
- Put Up Light-Colored Curtains. Choose white, beige, or another light color for your window curtains. These colors reflect sunlight away from your home instead of absorbing it. A light curtain with a white plastic backing can reduce the amount of heat entering your home by 33%.
- Turn Off Lights That Aren't in Use. The lights in the rooms of your home can radiate heat. Make it a point to switch off lights you're not using. This not only reduces the heat in the house, but it saves electricity, too!
- Keep Your Oven Door Closed. Opening the oven to check on a casserole or pie sends a blast of heat out into your home. Not surprisingly, this may cause the air conditioner to kick on. It's a good idea to limit the number of times you check on items in the oven. Better yet, grill out for dinner!
- Open Your Windows at Night. Instead of keeping your air conditioner on all night, open a few windows in your home or office to let the cool night air in. The house cools off, and your AC gets a much-needed break.
- Get a Smart Thermostat. A smart thermostat can be programmed to maintain a particular temperature in your home. This helps you to avoid overusing your air conditioner and constantly readjusting the thermostat.
- Reset the Ceiling Fan. Set your ceiling fan paddles to move in a counterclockwise direction. This motion pushes cooler air downward, which can make you feel four degrees cooler.
- Check/Change Your HVAC Filter Regularly. When the filter in your HVAC unit gets dirty and clogged, it prevents your air conditioner from operating at its most efficient. An AC unit that is struggling to keep your home cool can really drive up your energy bill. Check the filter about once a month during the summer and change it if needed.
- Get a Dehumidifier. The job of a dehumidifier is to take the moisture out of the air in your home. This can help the space feel cooler. Running a portable dehumidifier for a while during the day is another way to give your air conditioner a break.
Try some of these tips and let me know how they're working for you! Thanks for reading. - Alan