Humidity, high temperatures, and a cloudless sky make for a great beach day, but not comfortable living in the summer. With recent heat waves in the 90s, you might be itching to crank the air conditioning even higher. But before you touch that dial, we have a few solutions that will keep you cool while sparing your wallet at the same time. Tommy Webber, owner of T. Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric in the Hudson Valley, offers the following tips to keep any home cool and reduce energy bills:
Use a programmable thermostat
It’s wise to use a programmable thermostat and raise the temperature when the resident is not home. This will prevent the system from using unnecessary energy to cool the home if no one is there.
Turn on ceiling fans
If used in conjunction with an air conditioning system, fans are very effective at lowering the indoor temperature by circulating the cool air throughout the room. In the summer, ceiling fan blades should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. In the winter, the blades should turn clockwise to pull cool air up.
Postpone the use of appliances
On average, there are three major heat-generating appliances in the home: the oven, dishwasher, and dryer. It’s best to use these devices in the evening instead of the hottest part of the day. If possible, skip using the oven during the summer and grill outside more often. Any use of the oven will heat up the home.
Keep doors inside the home open
While in the winter, closing interior doors helps keep heat in specific rooms. Doing so in the hot summer months is detrimental to your cause. You want air to flow freely through rooms and throughout the entire home. Good airflow means a cooler home.
Change air filters regularly
Clogged filters will force the air conditioning system to work harder and use more energy, resulting in higher utility bills. Clean filters also improve indoor air quality
Check the window coverings
Thermal drapes, cellular shades, or blackout curtains will keep the heat outside and the cool air inside the home.
Schedule an air conditioner tune-up
Proper HVAC maintenance, which includes having a professional clean coils, fans, and air filters and check for the proper refrigerant charge, is the best way to ensure that the unit runs efficiently and effectively.