Now that summer is in full swing, our homes can get toasty. Air conditioners are in overdrive right about now, and while you’ve stopped sweating, your temperature may skyrocket again when the electric bill arrives.
Good news – if you try some of the tips below, you may be able to ease off the A/C and save some dough in the process.
1. Go Digital
A digital thermostat will allow you to control the temperature in your home and save you some money along the way. They are pretty easy to self-install if you are handy (ish). You can program the thermostat to cool the house when you are typically home, ideally setting it at an energy-efficient 78 degrees or higher. Of course, this may take some adjusting to – remind your family that it doesn’t have to be icebox-cold to be comfortable. Ask your energy provider if they have any programs available where you can get a discount on a digital thermostat or if they offer a better rate when you go digital.
2. Cover Up
Don’t you just love it when the sun is streaming in the windows and dappling everything in the room? Pretty as those rays are, they are also elevating the temperature in your house. Enjoy those sunbeams while you’re in the room, but get into the habit of closing the curtains or blinds when you exit. According to a spokesperson at Energy Upgrade California, a statewide energy educational initiative, closing your curtains can reduce indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees and save you up to 7% on your monthly bill. These light-blocking curtains are genius, too.
3. Become a Fan of Fans
Don’t think of a ceiling fan as a sorry replacement for an air conditioner. They can be money-savers when used properly. Chris Rattray of the Marion County, Oregon, branch of heating and air conditioning provider Aire Serv, says, “Consumers can lower their utility bills during the summer months by using ceiling fans (running in a counterclockwise motion) to create a wind-chill effect, which can allow you to reduce your thermostat by 4 to 7 degrees and still be comfortable. The fans should be turned off when leaving the room. This can help cut your cooling bill by up to 30%.” Another great option? This oscillating stand fan.
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