Some summers, cooling your home can feel like a full-time job. Even with central air conditioning, there are times when you just can’t seem to keep comfortable without constantly adjusting the thermostat. And when you do, you end up paying in another way – when your electric bill arrives. Here are five “hacks” you can use to efficiently keep your cool this summer.
1. Cooling System Maintenance
One of the first items on your agenda should be keeping your cooling system operating at its best. Check your system’s air filter once a month, and replace it following the filter manufacturer’s recommendations. An annual spring clean and check visit from your local Carrier HVAC contractor is recommended.
2. Supplement Your AC System with Fans
While your central air conditioner might be your first line of defense against the summer heat, you can always supplement with fans. According to energy.gov, using a ceiling fan allows you to set your thermostat 4 degrees warmer without sacrificing comfort. Be sure to turn off the fan when the room isn’t occupied because the fan cools the people, not the space.
3. Window Treatments
Window treatments are great for privacy, but they can also help you manage your comfort. Keeping your blinds or shades closed reduces direct sunlight and helps block radiant heat from the window. Investing in insulated shades for additional protection against radiant heat is optimal.
4. Heat Management
Keep cool by reducing heat sources.
- • Avoid using your oven – use the stovetop (with the hood vent fan on), microwave or grill outside instead.
- • When bathing, turn on the bathroom fan.
- • Add spot ventilation to your laundry room, or better yet, don’t wash your clothes with hot water during the summer.
- • Limit use of electronic devices such as computers, stereos, TVs, the dishwasher, etc.
During cooler and less humid times, consider turning off the AC system and ventilating your home by simply opening windows. A window fan, a whole-house fan, or using your central AC’s fan-only function can be an effective and efficient solution for cooling during these times.
With a little effort, and a few minor lifestyle changes, these hacks could help you lower your utility expenses and stay cooler in the process. Have a great summer!