25 May 5 Protips on Keeping Your House Cool This Summer
Flowers are blooming, barbecues are sizzling, and the weather is finally starting to warm up here in Utah—which makes it the perfect time to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Heating and cooling make up about half of your entire energy costs, so while it’s cool to stay cool, but it’s even cooler to do it the smart way that saves on energy consumption. These are some easy ways to reduce your energy bills this summer.
- Use your microwave
Using your oven or stove will turn up the heat in your home, causing your air conditioning to run harder. When possible, you should use alternatives such as your microwave oven or a small toaster oven to heat your meals, as these not only give off less heat, but are more energy efficient. Here are some tasty recipes you can make using your microwave [http://greatist.com/health/surprising-healthy-microwave-recipes]
- Clean or replace AC filters every month
Dirty or clogged filters can prevent your AC from running efficiently, causing your electricity bill to skyrocket. These filters need to be checked and cleaned at least once a month, and replaced every three months. Don’t forget to set your thermostat to 78° when you’re home, and 85° when you’re gone.
- Reduce air leakage
Each year you should perform an air leakage audit of your home. Preferably, you should hire a professional energy auditor, but if cost is an issue, you can perform some parts of the inspection yourself. Check for drafts and openings in the doors and windows and throughout sealings and ducts. Use weather stripping, caulk, duct tape, and foam gaskets to plug up any gaps in your home. As the summer months go by, you’ll save a great deal of money in conserved energy. Here are some tips from the Department of Energy [http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/your-home-ready-summer-you-are]
- Open windows at night, cover windows during the day
This is perhaps the most cost efficient way to reduce energy costs in the summer. During the day, cover your windows with curtains and blinds to prevent sunlight from heating up the inside of your home. At night and during the early morning, open your windows and allow the cooler air to keep the temperatures down. [http://www.care2.com/greenliving/keep-house-cool-23-tips.html]
- Run Ceiling Fans Counter-Clockwise
Many people don’t know this, but ceiling fans run seasonally: in the winter they should be set to run clockwise at low speeds to circulate warm air, and in the summertime, they should be running counter-clockwise (looking up at them) at higher speeds. Also, make sure you turn off your fans before you leave, since fans don’t actually keep a room cooler; it’s the wind chill effect they produce that makes it feel cooler when you’re in the room. [http://lifehacker.com/397054/run-ceiling-fans-counter-clockwise-for-summer-savings] While AC units use about 3,500 watts of energy, a ceiling fan uses only 60, so using fans instead of the AC when possible can save you a lot of money this season.