11 Easy Tricks To Cut Your Energy Bill This Summer
Insisting the thermostat stay at a constant 50 degrees while you bask in the hot sun shining through every single window is a surefire way to receive a wallet-busting electric bill.
To keep your energy account from trumping your monthly rent, take advantage of these 11 energy-saving tricks during the hottest months of the year.
1. Ceiling fans? Ceiling fans.
Did you know that simply having a ceiling fan turned on can allow you to raise the thermostat about four degrees? It’s true. And it can save you some big cash, since they require significantly less energy than AC units.
2. Ventilate your hottest rooms
Any sort of lingering warm air in your pad is bad. Make sure that a) there is a ventilation fan in both your bathrooms and kitchen and b) the air is directed totally outdoors and not just up into your attic.
3. Keep your AC clean
A faulty central cooling unit could be sucking up far more energy than necessary, so make sure you’re having it checked regularly by a pro. Same goes for a window unit: be sure to change out the filter on a monthly basis to ensure it’s operating as efficiently as possible.
4. Don’t keep appliances near your thermostat
Move anything that produces additional heat (a TV, lamp, etc.) away from the thermostat, since it can trick the entire system into thinking your house is a lot warmer than it actually is.
5. Get dark shades
Your white curtains may look great, but they’re doing nothing to keep the sun from baking your living room all day long. Instead, invest in dark colored curtains to black out your room during the hottest part of the day, and whenever you’re not at home.
6. Keep your windows open at night
On less-hot evenings, brave it without AC and keep your windows open with a fan blowing in air from outside. When you wake up in the morning, shut them and draw them blinds. This will essentially capture the cooler air indoors.
7. Try to use your oven at night
It may seem obvious, but don’t use your oven when it’s hot. You’re basically pouring money down the drain to have a box of heat sitting in a house you’re trying to keep cool. You should also limit your use of heat-producing appliances like dishwashers and dryers to nighttime.
8. Ditch your big, dumb thermostat
A connected smart thermostat like Nest will make it a hell of a lot simpler to keep tabs on your energy usage. Not only will it show you a visual breakdown of your energy usage, but you can control it remotely and program it to adjust to your schedule so it automatically shuts off your AC (or heat) when you’re not around.
9. Turn those fans off when you leave the room
You may think you’re cooling it down while you’re away, but you’re not. That’s because fans chill people, not rooms, thanks to the wind chill effect.
10. Plug up holes
To keep cool air from escaping, fault around leaky windows and doorways, or if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, install weatherstripping.
11. Keep your vents clear
Working up a sweat to ensure your AC vents are clear of dust will pay off in the long run, since even a slightly clogged up vent will affect how much harder your system needs to work to cool things down. You also shouldn’t be blocking any vents with furniture, but if you can’t get around it, invest in one of these.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor who grew up without air conditioning.
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