I know in the summer months air conditioning the house is one of the larger bills we face! Did you know the air conditioner was invented in the 1930’s, but it wasn’t commonplace in homes until as late as the 1970’s?! With how hot it gets here in the summer months (upper 90’s) I can’t imagine life without it. Whether you have central AC in your home, or have a window AC unit or two, there are ways to save a little cash and still stay comfortable and cool while at home. I’m going to share some practical and reasonable tips in this article for saving money on summer cooling costs. Best of all, just about all these tips cost you NOTHING to implement today!
P.s. Yup… This was talked about on my segment on Good Morning America.
General Summer Money Saving Tips – Cooling Costs
- Make a Homemade Air Conditioner – Put a bowl or even better yet a block of ice in front of a fan. Bags of ice are pretty cheap at grocery stores or big box stores like Walmart.
- Close all your blinds during the heat of the day
- Open the windows. Carry around a sprayer full of ice water. Spray your curtains often with the spray bottle. up to 30% of unwanted heat comes from your windows! If your windows are older, check for gaps in the insulation. Heat OR cold is notorious for getting in the house with even the smallest of gaps which leads me to my next tip….
- Purchase Insulated Window Film – It’s Less than $10 ! You will easily make that back in savings.
- Heat Blocking Curtains – Another terrific investment for the summer months as well as the winter. Close the blinds and keep curtains drawn, especially if you aren’t home all day. Studies have shown they can reduce the heat in your house by 33%!
- Rule of Thumb – On nights when the overnight temperature drops to 70° or lower, Turn off your AC & open your windows to cool down your house. You can also put fans in the windows to help pull in the cooler air and push out the warmer air. In some climates (hello Florida) this may not work, but this could be doable for those in the northern part of the country.
- Close off all Unused Rooms – This one’s pretty self explanatory. Why pay to cool a room that isn’t used?
- Change your Light Bulbs to LED or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) – Regular light bulbs give off heat. Incandescent bulbs waste an estimated 90% of their energy in the heat they emit! While the upfront cost of LEDs or CFLs are higher, they last much longer than traditional light bulbs and don’t waste energy with unwanted heat.
- Ceiling fans – Make sure the fan blades are rotating the RIGHT WAY! They should rotate counter-clockwise (as you look up at it) to push the air straight down. Ceiling fans have a tiny switch on the unit to change the direction. On the flipside, it should go clockwise in the cooler months to push the warm air down.
- If you are using an air conditioner make sure to change the filters at least once every 3 months. This will save on costly HVAC repairs AND extend the life of your AC unit(s).
- Other Household Tips:
- Cook Using the Grill Rather than your Oven. – Using your oven costs you about $3 in electricity to use it each time, and increases the temperature of your home. You can often find coupons or rebates for grill gas tank exchanges/purchases.
- Dry Your Clothes Outside on a Clothesline – Your dryer not only gives off a lot of heat but is expensive to run.
- Turn DOWN the temperature on your Hot Water Heater – Doing this alone can save you up to $300 or more a year. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a cooler shower in the hot weather?
There you have it. Lots of common sense, easy and inexpensive things you can implement right now to save money on you summer cooling costs. Do you have a tip or trick I missed? Let me know!
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