Air conditioning is an expensive addition to your home, and we often forget that it’s a luxury until we get a high energy bill during the summer. To save money and still enjoy cool air in your home, turn off the A/C and use these no-cost tips.
Reverse the ceiling fan blades. If you switch the ceiling fan to spin counter-clockwise on a medium setting, this no-cost technique blows the air upward instead of downward and redistributes warm air that rose to the ceiling.
If you have a window unit, face it toward the outside to push hot air out of the room. This tip keeps your family cool and cuts the energy bills by up to 10 percent.
Update the bedroom. Use cotton, light-colored bedding to promote ventilation or chill the sheets. If you don’t want to lower the thermostat, place the folded sheets and pillowcases in a plastic bag. Put the bag in the freezer for a few hours, and then make up the bed for sweet, cool dreams.
If the bedroom isn’t cooling down, sleep in the basement. Because heat rises, get to the lowest point of your home for bedtime.
Cool down your body. Instead of cooling your entire home, try cooling down your body first. Take cool showers after working out early in the morning or late at night and apply cold compresses to your pressure points at the wrist, neck, elbow, foot, ankle, and behind the knee.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which promote dehydration. Instead, drink 8 ounces of water and electrolyte-infused beverages, especially before bed to stay hydrated and cool.
For a personal air conditioner, create a DIY unit with a shallow pan or bowl full of ice. Place it in front of a small fan, which will pick up the cold water and create a cool mist.
Ventilate the attic. Proper attic ventilation improves air circulation, extends the life of the air conditioning unit, removes moisture and mildew from the indoor air, and prevents ice damming (if you live in a year-round cold climate). To ventilate the attic without touching it, call an HVAC professional to install a solar-powered attic fan, roof ventilation, or soffit vents.
HVAC System Tip: Insulate your home. Like ventilation, insulation keeps the heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
Open the windows correctly. Opening windows correctly and at the right time ensures that you get the most out of natural air conditioning. Open only South-facing windows during the evening to circulate naturally cool air in your home. During the day, beat the heat by keeping the windows shut and the blinds closed.
Use curtains and blinds. Vertical or horizontal slat types of window blinds are a great way to reduce heat. When completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, highly reflective interior blinds reduce heat gain by up to 45 percent.
Also, consider exterior roller blinds. They’re made to provide shade when closed completely. If you prefer draperies in your home, purchase white or medium-colored draperies and close them during warm days to prevent up to 35 percent of heat gain.
Cook outside. Take advantage of the summer weather and cook outside on a grill or over a fire pit. This tip saves up to 15 percent on the energy bills and produces no indoor fumes (which create warm air and moisture that rises to the ceiling and throughout your home). Without indoor fumes, the air conditioning unit and thermostat don’t have to work as hard.
For more information about how to cool your home using HVAC maintenance and other no-cost tricks, download Warner Service’s checklist by clicking on the button below: