As the temperature rises, so does the cost of cooling your home, especially if you use an air conditioner. Obviously, the best way to keep your home cool during the summer is to use an air conditioner to keep the temperature down, but there are other options that don’t raise your energy bill quite significantly. Here are some ideas that you can try in lieu of air conditioning your home.
Fans and Ceiling Fans
Fans can make a room feel 6 or 7 degrees cooler, and costs less than $10 a month to use if you keep it on for 12 hours a day. Good fans make it possible for you to raise your thermostat setting and save on air-conditioning costs. Fans don’t use much energy, but when air is circulating, it feels much cooler. Ceiling fans are best, but a good portable fan can be very effective as well.
Shades, drapes, or blinds
Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house. Close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun (east-facing windows in the morning and west-facing windows in the afternoon) to keep the sun’s heat out and help fans or air conditioners cool more efficiently.
The most common sources of internal heat gain are; appliances, electronic devices, and lighting. Be aware from where the heat is coming from. Don’t put lamps, televisions or other heat-generating appliances next to your air-conditioning thermostat, because the heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer
Try to avoid heat-generating activities, such as cooking indoors. Get outside and grill. If you are cooking indoors, use your range fan to vent the hot air out of your house.
Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units, but be careful not block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses less electricity. Trees planted on the south and west sides will keep your house cool in the summer and allow the sunlight to warm the house during the winter.
Paint your roof white – If you’ve got a flat roof, paint it with a specially formulated reflective paint or just paint it white. The reflective effect will help to keep the rooms under the flat roof much cooler.
Other things to remember
Humidity makes room air feel warmer, so reduce indoor humidity. Minimize mid-day washing and drying clothes, showering, and cooking. And when you must do these things, turn on ventilating fans to help extract warm, moist air.
If the attic isn’t already insulated or is under-insulated, insulate it NOW. Upgrading from 3 inches to 12 inches can cut cooling costs by 10 percent.
Source – Freshome