As May rolls into June the cost of keeping your home cool will only rise. There are ways to cut corners and make cooling your home less of a financial hassle though. A home cooled through cost-effective methodology opens up funds to spend on truly enjoying your summer, instead of ruing that air conditioning bill. Here some tips to save money and keep cool this summer.
Plant around the house
Plant shrubs and trees around your home. Sure it costs money to purchase them, but according to Bankrate.com you will still save money in the long run. Shrubbery shading your air conditioning unit can boost its efficiency up to 10 percent according to Bankrate, citing figures from the U.S. Department of Energy. Additionally the shade of taller trees will prevent sunlight from reaching the interior home. Combined, the extra shading and more efficient AC unit should be enough to begin collecting a few extra pennies in your pocket.
Keep that thermostat in mind
Why keep your thermostat on a lower temperature when you're not home? Who are you keeping cool? By warming up the thermostat when you're away you can save between 5 and 15 percent on your air conditioning bill. When at home keep the thermostat at 78 in order to balance comfort and energy costs, according to GoodHouseKeeping.com, but when you are away or even at night, crank it up and watch your bill go down.
Clean the air filter
The air filter in your air conditioning unit may be blocked by dirt, dust, hair or whatever other debris may be floating around the home at any given time. By cleaning that filter, or simply replacing it, you can lower your AC's energy consumption between 5 and 15 percent according to the DOE. Some will be reusable, while others you may have to replace. These filters are generally located somewhere in the return duct.
Always try to buy Energy Star
This international standard for energy efficiency tells you that the product in question will operate in a more sustainable manner than others on the market. According to GoodHouseKeeping.com an Energy Start central air system will use about 14 percent less energy than the government mandates, while a single room air conditioner will use around 10 percent less. However, the efficiency varies between products. Some will meet the minimum standards required by the government, while others such as the Turbo Air, Friedrich and Unionaire units listed by GoodHouseKeeping.com use at least 25 percent less energy than what is required.
Allow humidity to dictate your AC
According to Bankrate, via the DOE, setting your AC fan to slow on an extra humid day will increase comfort in your home. The slowed air movement will assist in removing moisture built up throughout the day from the air within your home.
Avoid the stove-top and oven at all costs
Cooking on the stove, or in your oven, will heat up your kitchen very quickly. Bankrate suggests using the microwave or eating something cool such as a salad to avoid necessary discomfort brought on by the extra heat produced through stove-top cooking or baking in the oven.