Saving Money And Staying Cool: 3 Tips For Preparing Your Home For Summer
Posted on: 21 March 2016
Summer isn't too far off. While you are looking forward to the warmer weather, you are probably not too keen on what it is going to do to your checking account. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do about that.
1. Lower Your Air Conditioning Bill
With ENERGY STAR saying that cooling accounts for roughly 13 percent of your annual energy bill, you definitely want to do something to save on cooling costs. Here are smart tips to help you do so:
- Upgrade When Necessary – The average life expectancy of a central air conditioning system is 15 to 20 years, so if is yours is anywhere near this or more than this, it is likely time to replace it. There are always new and more efficient models being introduced, which can help save you money on your cooling bill. In fact, replacing a 10-year-old unit can save you as much as 40 percent!
- Change Your Filter – Dirty air filters do not allow air to flow efficiently and cause your unit to work harder than necessary and run longer than usual, thereby increasing your cooling bill. This eventually leads to premature wear and tear and failure. So check your filters periodically and change them out when dirty or at least every three months.
2. Master the Moisture
Sometimes, the heat isn't really the problem and neither is your air conditioner. In fact, the problem is actually the moisture inside of your home. The more humidity there is in the air, the harder your air conditioner is going to work to try to cool your home. Unfortunately for you, this means a higher energy bill. So here's what you need to do:
- Purchase a Dehumidifier – A dehumidifier will remove the moisture from the air, and it will reduce the effort that the A/C must put forth to operate. There are multiple types of dehumidifiers, including whole-home and portable. An HVAC expert can help you determine the severity of the moisture and humidity in your home so that you can buy the most appropriate one.
- Run Your Exhaust Fan in the Bathroom – After you've taken a shower, make sure to keep that bathroom exhaust fan running for a short period of time. It will help to eliminate the excess moisture from the area.
3. Get Rid of the Heat
No matter how much you cool your home, it won't make a bit of difference if there is a significant amount of heat seeping in. To ensure that heat is staying outside of the home, here's what you should do:
- Check Your Attic Insulation – The attic is one of the simplest areas to improve your home's energy efficiency. If you're not sure whether you need additional insulation or not, look to the floor joists. Is the existing insulation below them or barely level with them? If so, you need more. ENERGY STAR recommends using R-38 insulation.
- Keep Your Blinds Closed – While you may open your blinds during the winter to allow the sunlight to enter the home and warm up the space, you need to keep them closed in the summer to keep the heat out. In fact, it may be a good idea to get some sun-blocking curtains to further eliminate heat gain.