November 14,2016

Blog Entries - June 2014

Beat the Heat and Save Money This Summer

Posted on: June 20, 2014 12:00 pm
Tags: Beat the heat and save money this summer

Chill Out!

No, it's not your imagination - it definitely is getting hotter. The eight warmest years on record occurred over the past decade. But staying cool this summer doesn't necessarily mean you have to pay a fortune to keep the air-conditioning running day and night. Here are 5 tips - most costing less than $25 - that will keep you comfortable and cut your cooling bill by as much as half. What's needed to get the temperature to drop? Only a little time and a few changes in your routine.

1. Install Programmable Thermostats

A programmable thermostat lets you preset temperatures for different times of the day, so air-conditioning is working only when you are home. These thermostats come with complete directions and are easy to install. The cost to install a programmable thermostat is between $30 and $50. The benefit is saving up to 20 percent off your cooling bill.

2. Set the Dial Higher

If you have central air, set your thermostat above 78 degrees. You'll save 5 to 8 percent on cooling costs with each degree above that mark. When you leave home for more than an hour, set the thermostat to 85 or 90 degrees. Reset it upon your return, and the room will cool down in only 15 minutes. The system will use less energy during the cool-down period than if you had left it running at a lower setting while you were out.

3. Use a Fan

A fan, which costs two to five cents per hour to operate, will make a room feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Also, a fan works well in tandem with an air conditioner because the dehumidifying action of the air conditioner provides drier air that the fan can then move around. Ceiling fans can decrease your cooling bill by up to 15 percent.

4. Practice "Texas Cool"

"Texas cool" is a morning and evening routine that takes advantage of cool outdoor temperatures at night and keeps the heat at bay as much as possible during daylight hours. It's very simple to do: At night when the temperature drops, open windows and bring in cool air with window fans or a whole-house fan. As soon as the sun comes up or the air starts to heat up, shut the windows and shades and keep doors closed. Using this practice you can shave 20 to 50 percent off your cooling bill.

5. Use Sun Blockers

As much as 20 percent of summer heat enters your home as sunlight shining through windows. To cut "solar gain," add curtains or blinds to rooms that get direct sun and draw them in the daylight hours. With the shades drawn, a well-insulated house will gain only 1 degree per hour when outdoor temperatures are above 85 degrees. Pay special attention to west-facing rooms late in the day.

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