Summer doesn’t just mean high temperatures. It means higher electricity bills, as well. Ouch!
With temps already climbing into the high 80s this year, it’s time to get ready for the hot months ahead. Here are some easy DIY tips to help you get on top of your electricity bills. Windows facing the summer sun will generate a lot more heat and add significantly to the cost of cooling a room. You can counter the strong rays by using a cover management plan.
These DIY steps are so simple, even a novice can master them.
Choose the right window coverings to control the amount of hot air entering a room and to prevent cool air from escaping. Heavy curtains will keep a chilled room cooler longer after the sun has come up and the ac is switched off. Use a ceiling fan with your ac to spread the cool air through the room(s). You won’t have to set the temperature of the ac as low to achieve the same cooling effect, which means you will save on energy costs. After you turn the ac off, keep the doors and windows closed, the curtains drawn and the fan on. The room will stay cool for hours, especially if the drapes or blinds are light in colour and remain drawn against the sun.
Did you know a season’s worth of dirt and dust can affect the seal on your window sills so they don’t close properly? This means your ac will not work as efficiently, raising energy costs. Clean those sills! Windows are the top source of air leaks in the typical home. Reduce leakage by applying caulk between the trim and the frame. Make sure the caulk is for interior use and of good quality. Cool air can leak from underneath a door – sometimes a lot, depending on the gap. Door sweeps will correct the problem.
Central air ducts are used to distribute cool air throughout houses. Check the ducts for tears and holes. Seal them with metal (foil) tape. I understand that duct tape – or “duck” tape as it is often referred to locally – won’t last as long. Insulate all the ducts you can get at. Depending on your age and agility, you may want to hire someone to do the job, unless you’re up to going into the attic and crawlspace and so on.
Clean the blades on your ceiling fans. In the summer, your ceiling fan should turn counter-clockwise to create more down draft. Mini splits are more economical than central units. Instead of cooling your entire home, just cool the room you’ll be occupying. You should realise a significant savings. Without blocking air flow, shade or insulate a central system’s outdoor compressor. Clean or change air filters monthly during the summer to get the most efficiency for the least cost.
Don't place anything that emits heat, such as lamps or TVs, near the thermostat. Heat will cause the air conditioner to run longer. Put a whirly bird on your roof to draw heat from the attic. Use trees to shade windows that face the summer sun, but make sure they’re not too close to the house and pruned during hurricane season. If open windows capture the southeast prevailing winds in the summer, this is an excellent selling point, especially if it involves a living area or kitchen.
If you are selling your home, make sure your agent highlights any energy saving features.
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