You have just left the office, the outside heat hits your face, climbing into your car you immediately break a sweat. Thoughts of cooling off at home are on your mind…. Upon walking in the door, is your first stop the thermostat?
Stop! Jacking the thermostat to temperatures rivaling Antarctica will cost you on your next electric bill. Think about being energy efficient and saving money with these strategies and tips.
First Things First, Visit the Fridge
The minute you walk through the door, think about how to affect your comfort and temperature. Have your flip flops or favorite slides waiting at the door. A quick kick of your heavy or closed toed shoes and you will immediately begin cooling off.
Next head to your refrigerator. Have your favorite face mist waiting for you chilled on the top shelf. You can find sprays designed for the face help to refresh, calm, and revitalize your after-work spirit. Put it in the fridge to help to lower your body temperature, and increase your mood. You can find these sprays at all price points and in big box stores and specialty cosmetic stores alike. With varying scents including rose based for floral scents and green tea, white tea, or bergamot to refresh your system, there is a spray for everyone - both men and women. Be sure to look for ones without alcohol as these will dry out your skin.
Now that you have spritzed your face and neck; pull a cold drink out of that refrigerator. Water, tea, or whatever cold drink you prefer will work with the evaporating facial mist to lower your body temperature and stop you from pushing thermostat buttons. By now, you should be feeling the cooling effects of these first simple steps so you can read on to our other energy saving hacks.
Treat Yo' Self to a Programmable Thermostat
You don’t have one of these? Now is the time to add one. Programmable thermostats start at about $15 and can go as high at $300 depending on the features. Unless you have some basic electrical knowledge plan to pay an electrician $65- $85 per hour for one to two hours work to have it installed.
This handy device will accommodate your weekday and weekend schedules. Meaning that you aren't paying to have the conditioner running all day long when you are work and can't be home to enjoy it. Try setting the air conditioning temperature for 78° instead of heading straight to 72°. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, for every degree higher on the thermostat the savings is about 1%- 3% on your energy bill. This could add up to savings up about 10% by resetting your thermostat only three or four degrees warmer in the summer months.
Cover Your Windows
Close the blinds and the curtains, too. As the sun beats into your house during the day, it can drastically raise the temperature indoors. Hang blinds close to the windows and try to choose a light color that will best reflect the sun. You can also get insulated curtains for additional protection from the sun. Luckily, insulated curtains now come in all sizes with a wide variety of patterns, color, and textures. Windows that face south and west bring the most heat into your home, but on hot days even east facing windows should be covered.
Open Your Windows at Night
A really easy and totally affordable way to keep your house cool in the summer and add some energy savings is to open your windows at night once the sun has gone down. After the sun has gone down, you will begin to feel the outdoor temperature cool down drastically - sometimes as low as 50°. Take advantage of Mother Nature's air conditioning and open your windows to get that cool air inside. When wake up in the morning, you can close the windows and enjoy the effects of the cool air all day. This hack can add tons of savings on your energy because you don't have to run any machines to feel its effects.
We don’t mean the kind that want your autograph, but those are cool in their own way. We are talking ceiling fans. These help spread cool air from the air conditioner to the rest of your home. The moving air helps to chill the skin and make you feel six to seven degrees cooler than you would feel without them. Fans should turn in a counter-clockwise direction during the summer. Floor and box fans can also help move air from one room to another or even down a hall.
Keepin' it Cool
Yearly maintenance helps keep the air conditioner running efficiently. Change or clean the filters once a month during the summer months of heavy months. Check outside, this is where the air conditioner’s condenser and evaporator are located. Make sure that leaves and/or pine needles haven’t filled the protective cage housing the unit.
This Won’t Cost a Thing
Make sure all the room vents are open. Seems silly right? But they might have been knocked closed during the winter or shut at some other time. This is also good chance to vacuum and wipe them clean. Having the room vents open will prevent the air conditioning unit from working so hard to cool your whole space.
Looking for more information on energy saving and reducing your cooling costs? Check out these resources!
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