When the heat comes rolling in, so do the higher energy bills. You may think that you have to pick one or the other: hot temperatures and stuffy rooms, or cool comfort that comes with a price tag that makes your eyes bug out. Fortunately, that isn’t the case. There are plenty of little things you can do to increase the energy efficiency of your home, which will result in lower overall costs without you having to sacrifice your comfort.
Seal Your Home
The U.S. Department of Energy itself stresses the importance of properly sealing your home. It’s good for temperature control, energy conservation, and keeping the moisture levels in your house low, which can discourage the growth of mold and bacteria while making your home less hospitable for critters seeking refuge from the hot summer sun. Additionally, you could find that a large portion of your energy bill is actually going toward making up for the drafts in your home. Cracks in doors and windows allow for hot air to seep into your house, and over time, this can cause your house’s internal temperature to rise to uncomfortable levels. Turning on the AC will provide relief, but those same crevices will allow your nicely conditioned air to escape just as quickly, causing you to run your AC for longer periods of time. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Keep Windows Shut
It might sound counterproductive, but you really should be keeping your windows shut during the day. Sites like Yawn Central point out how bad it is to leave your windows openany time that the sun is up, despite the common thought that this will help create cross-breezes and air your home out. In reality, you just invite hot air into your home and only create the illusion of “cooling down” when the air cools off moisture on your skin. As soon as you try to sleep that night, you could find that you’ve made a bit of a mistake and it’ll be too late to correct it.
Know Where the Sun Hits
This can help you out a lot if you’re trying to keep cool on a budget. Even with the windows closed, a room that the sun is shining on directly is more likely to heat up than rooms that are toward the back of the house or away from the sun’s range. You can essentially move from room to room throughout the day to rest in the coolest areas of your house as the sun travels across the sky. Knowing where the sun hits is also useful if you’re installing a new AC unit, as they last longer and work better when they’re placed outside of direct sunlight.
Check Your AC Unit
If you really want to get ready for the summer heat, then you’ll likely want to make sure you have a functional AC unit. Even if you don’t use it every day, it can be indispensable during heat waves when simply closing the curtains just isn’t enough. You should make sure that you have an energy-efficient model and one that works well for your size and style of house. Having it professionally installed will also ensure that you get the maximum use out of it at minimum costs.
Taking steps to heat-proof your home is well worth the benefits that follow. While it might seem like more work than simply flipping a switch and running your current AC unit with no second thoughts, you could be paying for it in energy bills by the time winter comes back. Take some of these tips into consideration and you could find yourself relaxing all summer in a cool paradise for a fraction of the cost!