Our area has experienced record highs over the last week or so, and that makes now the perfect time to help you find ways to beat the heat! Here are some simple ways you can reduce the temperature in your home without breaking the bank:
Change your air filter regularly
One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to keep your HVAC system running efficiently is by replacing your air filter at least a few times a year. Many homeowners ignore this simple step, and the filter becomes clogged with particles and debris, which slows air flow. This results in your system taking longer to heat and cool your home which, of course, ends up costing you more money. If you have pets, it’s a good idea to change your filter every month.
Don’t overdo it
Use your central air conditioning system efficiently. When the heat spikes, don’t overreact and set your thermostat too low. Settle on a temperature that won’t force your AC to run too often. This reduces wear, prolongs your system’s life, and saves you a bit of money, too. Also, speaking of air conditioners, have yours serviced from periodically, so it remains in peak working condition.
Install a smart thermostat
Smart thermostats that can detect motion in your home will more effectively regulate when your air conditioning or heating starts or stops. Many can learn your routines and automatically adjust for maximum comfort. Some even take the local weather into account. The result is that your system is more efficient, keeps you more comfortable, and saves you money.
Help air to flow throughout your home. Open a door or a window slightly so that the air pressure can balance and create a cooling draft. Using ceiling fans while you’re at home is a great idea. Most fans have switches to adjust whether the air is pulled up toward the ceiling or pushed down toward the floor, depending on the season. Pushing air down in summer (counter-clockwise), and up in winter (clockwise) helps circulate the air properly and can save you as much as 10% on your bill.
When and how you do things matters
Every appliance in your home generates heat when running, so do your laundry in the evening and turn on the dishwasher right before you go to bed. Operating at night prevents adding to the heat that daytime already brings. This tip also goes hand-in-hand with the idea of eating meals that take less time in the oven or stovetop. Even better, cooking outside on the grill means no added heat inside.
Unplug and cover
Nearly anything that uses electricity produces heat. Unplug all devices that aren’t in constant use. Likewise, keep your shades, blinds, and draperies closed during the day and opened at night. This will prevent your house from overheating. Not using some rooms? Keep those doors closed as well, so the precious cool air stays in the spaces you’re occupying.
Traditional bulbs = heat
And last but not least – if there ever was an ideal time to switch from those old, obsolete incandescent light bulbs to LEDs or CFLs (compact fluorescent), now is that time. The cost of new-technology bulbs is continually decreasing, and their efficiency is always improving. They cost far less to light your home with, and they emit very little heat as well – it’s a win-win!