Everyone wants to save money, right? No one actually likes seeing their energy bill to skyrocket when it’s time to turn on the AC. Here are a few ways you can conserve energy, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint this summer when it comes to dealing with the heat:
- When it cools off at night, open your windows a crack to let in the breeze. For safety reasons, only do this when your windows aren’t easily accessible from the ground floor. When you get up in the morning, shut your windows and blinds to deflect sunlight and keep your room cool. The best ways to keep your room cool during the day is by closing venetian blinds or investing in blackout curtains.
- Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on the AC. Contrary to popular belief, it won’t cool your house any faster, and could actually result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expenses. One study found that each degree a thermostat is set above 75 degrees F could save up to 15 percent in energy. Experts recommend setting the temperature at 78 on hot days and 82-85 when you’re outside. Experts estimate that every degree above 78 saves you about 2 percent on your bill; every degree below costs an extra 6 percent. Utilize the timing feature on a programmable thermostat so you don’t have to remember to set it when you’re gone.
- Close doors to rooms that aren’t in use during the day, keeping cool air concentrated in the areas where it really counts.
- Use a ceiling fan to increase your cooling efficiency. How does this help? Large ceiling fans can distribute the cool air and pull body heat away from your skin.
- Install a solar attic fan. It can decrease the hot air trapped in your attic space, making your house easier to cool (it can also decrease your home cooling bill by up to 10 percent).
- Avoid using the oven or stove in the evenings. Take it outside, instead. Summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill.
- In the market for a new roof? Go with a light-colored one. A roof made of traditional asphalt or dark wood shingles will bake the rooms under it.
- Schedule a routine checkup for your air conditioner. A clogged filter can save 5 to 15 percent in energy use. If your AC is more than 15 years old, it might be time for a new one. For more information, call Bonfe at (651) 621-8821 (St. Paul area) or 612-206-3097 (Minneapolis area).