Summer is here! That means outside barbeques, swimming at the lake or pool and late nights hanging out with your family and friends outside. But it also means that, unless you live in the arctic, your house is going to get hot. That might not bother you during the day when you’re not home, but nobody likes sleeping in a hot room.
The most practical way to stay cool in your house is an air conditioner. But practical doesn’t always translate to cheaper. Having your AC cranked up to full blast all summer long will make you want to run away to the arctic once you see your electricity bill. Therefore you need to use a little common sense when cooling your home.
Here are a few simple (and fairly inexpensive) ways you can stay cool this summer and save money.
Already have an air conditioner?
- Use a fan. A fan by itself can make a hot room a little more bearable because it gets the air circulating. But add a fan to an air conditioner, and suddenly you’re staying cool without running that expensive AC unit 24-7. It doesn’t matter if you use a ceiling fan or a stand-alone one that sits on your floor. The key is to keep the air in your house circulating.
- Use a programmable thermostat and timer. Does your house really need to be all that cool while you’re at work? Probably not. Buy a thermostat that you can also program for different times of the day. The middle of the day is when energy usage peaks and can be a real drain on your wallet. Keep your house a little warmer during the day, and then have the AC kick on during the evening and night hours.
- Invest in energy efficient windows. Replacing your windows can be expensive at first, but you’ll end up saving money over the long term. If you touch the windows on the inside of your house on a hot summer day, do they feel hot, warm or cool? If they feel hot, then they’re basically radiating heat directly into your home. An energy efficient window will let the sun in and keep the heat out, meaning your AC won’t have to run as much.
Need an air conditioner?
Follow these tips to ensure you’re getting the most for your money.
- Do your homework before you buy. Yes, the size of the air conditioner matters. Get one that’s too small and it won’t cool your home. Get one that’s too big, and your house might start to feel damp and clammy because the AC unit also removes humidity. Find out how many square feet you want to cool, and use that as a guide to the type and size of an AC unit you want.
- Room air conditioner or central air. You might not need your entire house cooled during the summer. In that case a window air conditioner might be right for you. But if you need to cool several rooms, then central air might be the way to go. Keep in mind that central air does a lot more than just cool. It can also filter the air in your home, making the air much more comfortable to breathe.
- Look for the Energy Star sticker. The Energy Star program is a voluntary program implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency to help consumers save energy and save money. New appliances, such as air conditioners, will have an Energy Star rating and should tell you how much money you will save with that particular unit. Look for the highest Energy Star rating possible. The higher the rating, the more efficient your air conditioner will be.
Let us take a look
Don’t wait until the middle of summer to decide you need to cool off. Call us today and we can help you either make your current air conditioner more efficient, or help you buy and install a new one. Either way, you’ll save money and you won’t bake under the summer sun.