If you’ve been listening to the news, you know that record-breaking temperatures are sweeping the nation. Along with overtaxing the grid and causing brownouts, this surge for cooling power can also break records with your electric bill.
Here’s seven hot hints to make the most of your cooling dollar:
- More blind spots – Closing your blinds to keep the sun out can do wonders for the temperatures of your rooms. If you have houseplants by the windows, give them a little vacation on the porch so you can keep rooms as dark – and cool – as possible.
- Get with the program – Investing in a programmable thermostat can really pay off. If you’re out during the work day, set your thermostat at a reasonable level for pets, or even higher if no one is home. If you time the temperature to drop just a half hour before returning home, you’ll never even notice the difference. Except in your electric bill!
- Work the night shift– Saving your housework for the evening hours is a smart tactic to beat sweltering temps. When you run the clothes dryer and dishwasher during daytime hours, you create more work for your air conditioner. Wait until bedtime to push the start button.
- Clean up your act – Central air conditioners should have their filters replaced on a monthly basis when in heavy use. And don’t overlook those window units! They often have removable filters that you can clean and replace frequently. Dirty filters can inhibit the airflow and make cooling less effective, causing your units to work harder.
- Be a smart cookie – Cooking in the house can raise temps 10 to 15 degrees. When the weather’s cooking, make sandwiches or fire up your outdoor grill.
- Ward off vampires – Even if your electronics are off, they are still using electricity! They aren’t really “off” but in fact are in a standby mode. The phantom electricity that is sucked off your seemingly dormant devices is often referred to as “vampire” energy. Unplugging your microwave, computer, TV, etc. when not in use can help you not only save on electricity, but keeps the house cooler by eliminating the heat that these devices emit while plugged in.
- Shoot for the stars – If you’re in the market for new cooling appliances, be sure to check out the energy star ratings and purchase the most efficient appliance you can afford. Investing in a more efficient air conditioner now can save hundreds later.
Yes, it’s hot and miserable…but don’t multiply your misery with a blistering bill! Get busy implementing these cool tips, and the hottest thing in your home will be your bulging piggy bank.
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