The summer is often synonymous with three things: vacations, the heat and sky high energy bills. The high energy bills are usually a result of running the air conditioning for hours on end at full capacity every day. Therefore, it is not uncommon to often find people complaining a lot about their electricity bills at this time of the year.
Unlike fans, air conditioners typically consume more energy while running in the summer compared to other times of the year. It is this energy that translates to enormous power costs. However, this is not a diatribe about how much it costs to run your AC. You’re probably reading this because you need a few ideas on how to cut down on your energy bills in the summer whilst still being able to stay cool despite the heat. So, let’s proceed.
Install Ceiling Fans
Did you know that running one ceiling fan for just five hours costs just 5 pennies? If you did not, well, now you know. The fact is that ceiling and floor fans cost far less; less than 10% the cost of an air conditioning unit. Fans work great because they work by getting rid of the evaporation from your skin, thus cooling you down by at least 60C.
Apart from that, when the fans are on they generally reduce the amount of heat within the home. As a result, the AC does not have to work as hard to get rid of the heat. Moreover, the fact that you do not have to keep them running when you are out is always an added benefit savings wise.
Take a Cold Bath just Before Going to Bed
Here’s a neat little trick that works like gangbusters. Have a quick bath with some cold water. Then, get a bucket of ice, dump them in the bathtub and run some water and then slide into the bathtub and stay there for 5-10 minutes or until it ceases to be comfortable – whichever comes first. This will cool you down.
The idea is not to get too cold because then your body will be fighting to generate some heat, and you’ll need to get under the covers – which is counterproductive. Then, once cooled down sufficiently, it is time to turn on your bedside fan and allow it blow-dry you before going to bed. Do this every night, and you will be surprised at how little you’ll need the AC on at night.
Always Keep the Windows and Doors Closed
Strike that, we mean sealed. If cold air escapes from our home, it will force the AC to work harder to keep generating cold air and getting rid of the hot air. So, what you should do is simple, really. Ensure that all windows and doors are properly sealed, so no air gets to escape from the house. This will help keep the temperature of the house cool. Keep in mind you still want to make sure there is enough circulation to keep people from suffocating!
Close the Drapes and Keep Out the Sun
It makes sense that you would want to eliminate the source of the heat. The best way to do this is to keep the sunlight out by ensuring that your windows are closed, and your drapes pulled to. Avoid using blinds during the summer because they are not as efficient as drapes. You also need to install a solar screening and light reflecting film.
This works by reflecting the sun away from the windows, thus lessening the chances of the heat being trapped there. Avoid the dark ones as those keep the place dark. As a result, you would have to keep the lights on throughout. When you think of it, it is kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul as the perpetual lighting will cost more.
Finally, clean your AC filter every month – this will keep it in top condition. If your AC does not have a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of at least 15%, you need to upgrade it to one with that ratio. In fact, simply replacing your old AC for a new one can cut your energy bills by half because of the energy efficiency.
Oscar King is a student of engineering at University of Central Florida. When not in his studies, he does freelance writing on the side to help supplement his income. For keeping his home cool and energy efficient he frequently recommends Bob Heinmiller A/C. You can learn more about Oscar if you visiting his Google+.