The dog days of summer have arrived, and it’s hot outside. But what about the temperature inside your home — is it as comfortable as you would like? As the weather heats up, your house may feel too hot for your liking. Here are some things you can do to cool it down, or save money by running your central air conditioning less.
Block Out the Sun
When the sun beats down on your house, it can raise the indoor temperature by 10 to 20 degrees. As the indoor temperature rises, your electric bill can spike along with it. Installing shades, tinted window film or insulating curtains on all south and west-facing windows can lower your cooling costs up to 7 percent each year or keep your home up to 20 degrees cooler.
Shade trees are another way to block out the sun. They should be planted on the east and west sides of the home. If they are large enough to shade the roof as well as the windows, homeowners can save up to 30 percent on cooling and heating costs every year.
Minimize Heat Generation Indoors
Everything that plugs in around your home generates heat, so you can minimize that heat by unplugging things that you aren’t using. Power strips can make this easier — just flip the switch when you don’t need them to be on.
Your lighting also generates heat. Incandescent bulbs produce up to 10 times more heat than more efficient lighting like LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. They can add up to 11 degrees to your indoor temperature, depending on how many lights you have. Switching to efficient lighting is a small initial investment that can make a big difference on your electric bill.
Cooking is another activity that generates heat inside the home. The stovetop and oven create the most heat. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options for cooking that won’t leave your home feeling hot, including using the microwave, crock pot, or grilling outside. If you have to use the oven, try to cook early in the morning and be sure to turn the oven off as soon as you’ve finished. Another good option is to cook several meals at once, and then reheat them in the microwave as the week goes on. If you’re going to turn on the oven, you might as well fill it up so you can avoid using it again the next day.
Tune Up (or Replace) HVAC System
If your central air conditioner is more than 10 years old, chances are that it is inefficient and is causing your electric bills to be higher than they need to be. All units should be serviced and cleaned yearly for maximum efficiency, and replacing your unit if it is older may lower your cooling bills 30 to 50 percent.
Moonworks can help with all your HVAC needs as well as other renovations that can keep your house cooler. Call 1-800-975-6666 get a free estimate.