During the summer, most homeowners can expect two things: high temperatures and even higher electric bills.
That’s because their cooling system has to work especially hard to keep the home nice and comfortable.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
While nothing can be done about higher temperatures, you can take a number of steps to reduce energy bills.
In fact, here are five ways to do just that.
1. Turn on the fan
Paddle ceiling fans don’t actually cool the air, but they do make it feel cooler by increasing evaporation on your skin.
To reduce your air conditioning bill and save energy, raise your thermostat’s temperature up two or three degrees, and then run a paddle ceiling fan.
Make sure it’s running in a counterclockwise direction during hot weather, and only run the fan when you’re in the room to feel the effects.
2. Tint the windows.
Install a tinted film on the inside of your windows to reduce the heat coming in your home.
Applying the film can help reduce glare, block UV rays, and help cut energy costs by reducing solar heat gain.
Installing the film is easy — here’s the how-to.
3. Add some awnings.
Awnings — canvas stretched on a frame over windows and other areas — aren’t just decorative; they keep rain and sun off surfaces below.
And adding awnings to sunny windows can reduce a room’s temperature by up to 15 degrees and save 25% on the air conditioning for that room.
4. Get a programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats save energy by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature when you’re away. Simply set the program to your schedule, and the thermostat does the rest.
This involves some significant upfront expense — ranging from $80 to $400, depending on the device and its features — but you can save $180 a year in energy costs.
5. Replace weather stripping.
Throughout the year, homes expand and contract along with changes in temperature. That’s why it’s important to check the ‘envelope’ of your home for any air leaks.
Check around your exterior windows and doors for old weather stripping that needs replacing, as well as cracks and gaps where air can leak into the home.
Then, apply new weather stripping in those areas.