Saving on Summer Cooling Costs
It’s warm outside today. It rained this morning, but now the sun is out and it’s nice and warm. Finally, spring is here in the Northeast. I’ve been waiting for this; I love the mild temperatures, the sun, and getting ready to plant my garden. It’s an exciting time of year, where things are made new and everything feels ffresh and alive.
But after spring is summer, and then the fun starts. It gets warmer… in some places, a lot warmer. There’s a lot of financial questions I hear, but the question I get asked the most is “How can I save on summer cooling costs? My air conditioning makes my electric so expensive.” Here are a few hints I have for those who wish to know that answer!
1. Turn up that temperature. Every degree you turn the thermostat up (if you have central air conditioning) can save 3% to 4%. Yes, it makes that much of a difference. And I’ll be honest, there isn’t that huge of a difference between 69 degrees and 70 degrees, is there? If I had central air, I’d deal with the degree difference and save that $10 or $20 that I’d save because of it.
2. Take in the breeze. I don’t have central A/C, I just have a unit in my window in my bedroom. So, on those days that it’s not incredibly hot out, I’ll open the window in my living room and the window in my bedroom and enjoy the cross-breeze that flows through. It keeps the house cool and it gives me some fresh air! Win-win situation there, my friends!
3. Make your home energy efficient. Put in insulation. Yes, it keeps the heat in in the winter, but it also keeps the cold in during the summer. Put in new windows, especially if your windows are letting in some heat through the cracks. Do everything you can to up your energy efficiency, and you can save some cash on your cooling costs.
4. Plant a tree! This sounds silly, but seriously, it works. If you own your home, consider planting trees around your house. The shade that they provide can help reduce your cooling costs significantly. Other perks? Trees make your yard look pretty and you’re helping to save the environment. Earth day was a couple weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plant a tree now!
5. Be careful of humidity. The more humid it is, the hotter it feels. The hotter it feels, the more energy it takes to cool your home. Take cooler showers, cook with lids on your food, and consider getting a dehumidifier. Do everything you can to make sure your house isn’t incredibly humid, and it’ll help knock your cooling costs down even more.
What other tips do you have for saving on your cooling costs? Is cooling your home a pain, or does it work out just fine with your budget? Share your thoughts in the comments, have a great weekend, and we’ll see you here next week. Until then, spend smart, save smart!