As temperatures rise across the country, it can be tempting to blast the air conditioner all day, every day. This move could cost you hundreds of dollars and it just doesn’t seem worth it despite how uncomfortable your home becomes. Instead of choosing between spending a lot of money or being toasty all summer long, take some proactive steps to keep your home cooler.
Block Out the Sun– Install sun blocking curtains, shades or blinds to keep out some of the heat. You can also try window films to keep out heat if you still want to let light in. The benefit of this is that you can stop wasting energy to light your house by being able to keep the curtains open. It all depends on your lifestyle.
Improve Insulation in Your Home– There’s no use in pumping cold air into your home if it’s able to easily escape. Research and consider having a home energy audit performed if you suspect your home is letting precious cold air escape. Addressing some of these issues may cost money, but should save you money in the long term. Also, be sure to pay attention to any federal, state or local tax credits for using high efficiency products and materials. Simple steps can include caulking and weather stripping around your windows and doors which you can probably do yourself.
Maintain Your Equipment– It’s very important to make sure your AC unit is well-maintained. Energy.gov has a great guide to Maintaining Your Air Conditioner. They suggest that replacing or cleaning Air Conditioning filters is the “most important maintenance task.” This can be even more important if you have a furry pet! You can likely do this part of maintenance yourself. If you suspect your system needs more complex work, hire an expert.
Avoid Indoor Cooking– Planning and preparing meals in advance can be very helpful in the summer, especially if you can manage to do so in the evening or on a cooler day. You can also utilize a grill or fire pit if you have one to do cooking outdoors on hot days. Keep some cool treats on hand so you can feel temporarily refreshed during particularly warm afternoons. These food choices will help keep your home’s temperature more manageable.
Watch Doors and Windows– Don’t leave doors or windows open while you have the air conditioner On. This is common knowledge but sometimes mistakes happen. If you have door and window sensors installed as a part of your home security, you can set them to notify you when they are opened. This can help you keep track of where cool air might be escaping or warm air may be getting in.
Get a Smart Thermostat– Updating your thermostat can allow you to control your heating and cooling more efficiently than ever and therefore maximize energy saving opportunities. A smart thermostat from Guardian gives you a lot of control over your home’s heating, cooling and general energy management. Learn more about the importance of your thermostat.