Summer is just around the corner and that means heat. You may not be worried because after all you can just blast the air conditioning all day, right? While you certainly can, you will also have a hefty bill waiting for you at the end of each month. But don’t worry, staying cool during the hottest summer days do not have to cost an arm and a leg. There are simple tricks that will help you avoid the heat, while saving money. Consider some of the following while trying to cool off this summer.
1. Clean the filter
A dirty air filter will be much less efficient and will cost you extra money you would otherwise be saving. It is a good idea to check your HVAC filter every month. Most filters need to be replaced on average every three months, so if you haven’t checked it in two years, it’s time to change that.
2. Focus on the windows
Much of the heat in your home is the result of sunlight shining directly into the house. A good way to minimize that heat caused by sunlight is to invest in solar screens or window screens. These can absorb up to 70 percent of the solar energy that would otherwise end up in your living room. Window films, which are thin metalized sheets, can have a similar effect.
3. Only use the AC when you are home
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can not avoid using the AC. Indulge yourself now and then, but always remember to turn it off when you leave the home. While it is nice to come home to a cool house, it is an unnecessary cost, especially because it only takes a few minutes for AC to cool down a house anyways. Also, only use it during the hottest times of the day.
4. Use fans
I know it feels like fans sometimes just blow around hot air, but if you place them in the right locations they can really help. Put fans in the upper levels of the home and open windows on the lower level. If you live in a one-story home or an apartment, close the windows near the fan and open the windows that are far from the fan.
5. Find cool spots in the home
One of the best areas to stay during a heat wave is your home’s basement. Basements are naturally cooler than other parts of the home. If your basement is large enough, set up all your activities down there and avoid the upper floors.
6. Use appliances at night
There are certain machines in your home such as the dishwasher, dryer and stove that give off heat, making it even more uncomfortable in the home. When possible, only use these appliances when the sun goes down and it gets cooler outside. You could even avoid them all together by hand washing dishes or hanging clothes to dry.
7. Cool off with water
Instead of cranking the AC, hop in the shower for a cool rinse. When you are done, soak a towel in cold water to put on your neck while sipping from ice water. The human body will also adjust to temperatures that it lives in for extended time, so be patient and your ability to stand the heat will increase.
The difference in temperature under the shade can be drastic. Planting trees around the exterior of your home is one way to decrease the heat that builds up on the inside. Trees and shrubs can greatly increase your AC’s efficiency.
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