Thursday, June 17, 2010

Keep Cool This Summer!

With the temperatures starting to rise in KC, so will the costs to keep your house cooler.  While most homeowners depend on air conditioners to keep the temperatures down, there are several other options available to help keep your energy bill low during the warm summer months.

  1. Install a ceiling fan.  This one appliance can make a room feel 6-7 degrees cooler, costing as little as $10/month if you keep it on for 12 hours a day.  Make sure the fan is turned for should feel the air blow downward.
  2. Take advantage of your window treatments.  White window shades, drapes, or blinds will reflect the heat away from the house.  Close them if your windows face the sun to keep the heat out and help your A/C and fans cool more efficiently.
  3. Do your chores later in the day.  Run the washer/dryer and dishwasher in the evenings.  This will help reduce the amount of heat in your home and you will use less energy to cool it.
  4. Take a look at your landscaping.  Plant trees or shrubs around A/C units as units that operate in the shade will use less electricity...just don't block the airflow.  Also, plant deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home to keep your house cool in the summer.  They will also allow the sunlight to warm your house during the winter.
  5. Swap out your old lightbulbs.  Compact Flourescent Light bulbs (CFLs) and LED bulbs use less energy and produce less heat than incandescent bulbs, saving you even more money in your pocket.  
  6. Avoid the oven.  If you don't want to grill during the day, cook with a microwave, toaster oven or counter top grill instead to minimize any unwanted heat that will cause your A/C unit to work harder to cool.
  7. Check for leaks.  Check any windows or door frames for any hot air leaking in and seal them with caulk or weather stripping.
  8. Check out your attic.  If it isn't already, insulate it as this will lead to big savings year-round.  Also, consider upgrading from 3 to 12 can cut your cooling costs by 10%.
I know there are several other things you can do to keep yourself cool this summer.  These are just a few suggestions to get you started, but take the time to do a little research on your own and see what a difference you can make...on your wallet and the environment.

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