How To Efficiently Cool Your Home And Save Money

Maybe it's not time to upgrade your HVAC system, but, somehow, you know you could be doing more to make your home comfortable without spending more money. Turning up the thermostat may not be an option if you're already sweating it out. Therefore, follow these simple tips to keep your house cooler, make your AC more efficient, and save money.

Time Your Appliance Use

During the summer, the sun is highest in the sky around noon, causing outdoor heat to build and peak around 3 P.M. This means the inside of your house will be warmest in the mid to late afternoon, resulting in an AC that works extra hard to keep your space cool.

If you're home during the day, it's best to avoid using certain appliances that emit heat during those peak hours, such as the oven, dish washer, and hair dryer.

Scheduling hair dryer and dish washer use is fairly easy whereas using an oven may seem like more of a non-negotiable, especially if others are expecting a meal. But consider investing in a small toaster oven or even a crock pot. Both will put out less heat than a standard oven and use less energy to cook your food.

For instance, some crock pots will use only 0.7 kWh of electricity when running all day, and a toaster oven uses about 0.9 kWh after about 50 minutes of use. A standard kitchen oven, however, uses 2 kWh after an hour of cooking at 350 degrees. Not only that, they blast a tremendous amount of heat into your home as soon as that door opens. Cooking at a different time of day, or using smaller appliances can keep you comfy and help you save dough.

Insulate Duct work

If your duct work runs through a non-air-conditioned part of the house, like the attic, make sure it's properly sealed and insulated. Without this, summer heat can make the cool air warm up before reaching your home.

Purchase metallic foil tape specifically manufactured for ducts and place over any leaks you find. Then cover the ducts with foil faced fiberglass insulation. This will result in a cooler home and reduced energy bills.

Keep Lamps Away From the Thermostat

In order to run most efficiently, the thermostat should be placed on an interior wall, as far away from windows and doors as possible. But drafts are not the only concern. If you happen to have lamps nearby, even one with a low wattage bulb, expect your AC to run more frequently than it should.

Experiments have shown that even a 60-watt bulb can heat up surrounding objects that are only one foot away to over 100-degrees in just a few minutes. That can confuse the thermostat, making it think your home is much warmer than it is and forcing your air to run constantly. Sure, you may be comfortable, but you'll be paying for it. So turn those lamps off or move them somewhere else.

Ventilate and Insulate the Attic

Your attic builds up a lot of heat during the summer months, making your AC work much harder than it needs to. There are a few ways to make sure a hot attic doesn't affect your air conditioning or your wallet.

The first step is to properly insulate the space, providing a tight barrier between home and attic. Fans can also help by blowing fresh air in and sucking hot, stagnant air out. Some homeowners only need one fan whereas others may need several.

The best way to ensure you have a well-ventilated and insulated attic is to call an HVAC professional for an inspection.

Use a Dehumidifier

Excess humidity not only makes your air conditioning run more often, it also affects your comfort level. The more moisture there is in the surrounding air, the less your body can effectively cool down. Therefore, anything you can do to reduce the humidity will reward you in several ways.

Dehumidifiers can be placed in individual rooms or you can invest in a whole-house dehumidifier. The latter are usually more expensive, but they also tend to use less energy, saving you money over time. Ridding your home of too much humidity can reduce your AC use by as much as 30%. For more information, contact companies like Metro Air.