Thursday, July 10, 2014

4 Tips on Saving Money Cooling Your Home This Summer

In the EnergyGuide post I mentioned I may or may not be a little cheap at times. This led me to only turning on the central air at my house once so far this year. I'm certain this is about to change as we roll into July. Nevertheless I wanted to talk about some things we can do to hopefully lower our power bill without turning our home into a sauna... 

According to Energy Star if just one in ten households used Energy Star Certified cooling and heating equipment, we could prevent the equivalent of 1.1 million cars' emissions. To me that seems pretty significant, so round up your neighbors and decide which one is going to volunteer to buy a new heating/cooling system...I kid.

More seriously though, a new Energy Star Certified heating and cooling system may not be in most of our budgets when the one we have is in working order right now (Nichole raises her hand). So for those of us who aren't quite ready for a major overhaul here are some things we can do to help our wallet and the environment. 

#1 Replace your furnace filter

If you have forced air heating and cooling  experts recommend replacing that air filter every 3 months. This is even more important if you are doing something in your house that is creating a lot of dust ie; sanding your life away on some cabinets...I will once more raise my hand! Gross filthy air filters decrease the efficiency of your homes cooling system. Percentage wide I've read approximately 2%. Obviously that doesn't sound like too much but over the course of the whole summer you will be paying for that energy and your furnace will be doing 2% less cooling. If I'm paying for it you better be working for it furnace! 

#2 Programmable thermostat 

Most of you probably already have a programmable thermostat in your home, but if you don't it might be something you could benefit from. Rather than keeping your house fridge cold all day while you are at work keep it moderately cool and tell that thermostat you better cool that joint down when I'm ready for bed or about to be home. I am all for appliances I can boss around. 

Another recommendation I know a lot of people I'm close to aren't going to go for....but I will throw out there anyway.. is keeping your home 4-7 degrees higher at night. It is estimated this alone will save you $180 a year. Some of you are probably shaking your head on that one but I just thought I would suggest it. 

#3 Get your homes "envelope" ready for summer, seal that house up! 

Unless your rocking your house like mine windows and doors open to the world you want to keep all of that precious cool air in your house. I know I'm not the only one that was yelled at by my mom "Do you think we are heating the outside?" Well we aren't cooling it either. Unless you which case do your thing. 

Check the seal around your windows, if your caulk is crusty and missing in places get out your caulk gun and get to work. I can operate a caulk gun so I'm pretty sure most people can get it done (no judgement if you can't though, phone a friend maybe?). That little strip by the front door, mine had a visible gap and I am not joking I literally felt my money getting sucked outside Ghostbuster style. You can also call your local utility company, many offer a home energy audit for a small fee. 

#4 Light blocking curtains

 Those curtains that reduce the amount of light that is let into your home are some of the best things I have ever seen as far as cooling my home. I have a sliding glass door and windows on the east side of the house, and that creates an oven in the morning quickly cranking up the temp in my house first thing. I wish I had paid attention in past years but I am thoroughly convinced those little curtains are the primary reason the A/C has only been on once this year. Yes my home may resemble the bat cave, and I love some light. But I can walk outside if I want to see the sun. Personally I will save money in my bat cave. 


I took some pics while shopping at Target of the variety of blackout/lighblocking curtains they have available. Here is a little tidbit. As you can see not literally black curtains there was something for everyone's style in the lightblocking fabric way!

That's about all I have for you today thanks for looking everyone! 

Until the next time...

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