Saving on Cooling: Keeping Heat out of Your Home
by David Sung
As summer approaches, so are those higher electric bills. It’s an increase in expenses that we bear begrudgingly, as the luxury of living in a cooled house is worth paying for in the middle of another sweltering summer. But there are ways you can still be cool at home and save on your electric bill. We’ve compiled some of the best tips to make the summer electric bills less of a burden.
Replace your AC Filter
Sometimes the easiest tasks can save the most. Ideally, your AC filter should be changed monthly even though many people replace it a few times a year. If you don’t remember the last time you changed it, then it’s likely long overdue. Filters are typically inexpensive and easy to install. If you’re unsure on and where to replace the filter, consider having an HVAC technician tune up your unit and change it for you. The technician will likely be happy to show you how to replace the filter.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Programmable thermostats have been shown to offer great savings on your monthly bills, and pay for themselves over the years. By allowing you to program your thermostat settings, your new unit can control the temperature while you’re away or asleep, keep temperatures higher while you’re at work, and increase the cooling once you’re home. By keeping temperatures higher when you don’t need them, you’ll notice savings every month.
Add Green to Your Yard
We all know the relief a tree’s shade provides when the sun is beating down and you need to rest. The same holds true for your home, as it can benefit from shade as well. By planting deciduous trees (ones that lose their leaves in winter) on the east and west of your house, the tree and its leaves will provide shade for your home in the summer, with the added benefit of the leafless tree letting sunlight in to heat your home in the winter. You can also use small shrubs to shield your air conditioner from the heat for even more savings. All with the bonus of making your yard look great.
Shade Your Windows
Don’t neglect your windows. While they provide a great view of the outdoors, they also let in a lot of heat in the summer. Invest in good window shades that you can close while you’re away. If you want to look outside while you’re home, simply open them. The shades provide yet another opportunity to block out the intense summer heat.
Implement these tips in your home to start lowering those harrowing electric bills this summer and save that money instead. Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page to catch even more money saving tips, or let us know your own.
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