Hear that? It's the noise of your ac unit running and the sound of your bank account drying up.
Heating and a/c your to your house take a 43 percent bite from your regular monthly energy costs, according to the United States Department of Energy. Here's how to reduce those expenses in summertime.
1. Enhance Plantings Around Your House
"A lot of heat that collects inside a home comes straight from the sun shining onto the roof or through windows, and heating up your house straight," states John Krigger, owner of Saturn Resource Management, which provides energy conservation training in Helena, Mont
. Planting leafy trees around the building's exterior will stop the sun from reaching inside your house. "Even for the cost of going to the nursery and purchasing a 15- to 20-foot-tall tree, trees are still the very best value," Krigger says.
If the trees or shrubs shade your air conditioning unit, you might increase your A/C's performance by up to 10 percent, according to the United States Department of Energy.
2. Clothe Your Windows
Solar screens, or mesh-like window screens, intercept up to 70 percent of solar energy prior to it gets into your home, Krigger says. Window screens are especially efficient on east- and west-facing windows, according to the United States Department of Energy.
Window films are another alternative. They are transparent, metalized sheets that show heat before it can be transferred through glass.
Nevertheless, windows must be shut for window films to work, while solar screens do double-duty, keeping sun and bugs out even with windows open.
3. Turn a Switch
Go on, get comfortable. Lower your air conditioning system's thermostat setting to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you're to your house. But let that number rise to a warmer temperature in the evening or when you're away from house. You can save 5 percent to 15 percent on your air-conditioning bills by raising the temperature setting on your thermostat when you're away and do not require cooling, according to the Department of Energy.
4. Chill In The Basement
Camp out in your basement, states Stan Cox, author of "Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get through the Summer)." In your eco-cooled basement, a TV, sofa or futon and a cold drink might be all you require.
However, Scheckel says don't open basement windows when outside air is heavy with humidity. "Warm, moist air will cause condensation on cool surfaces such as basement walls, eventually enhancing the humidity in your house," he says.
5. Do not Bake or Cook on the Range
Skip the stove-top boiling and oven baking, Cox says. Decrease indoor heat by making microwave nachos or consuming a cool salad. If you need to boil pasta for tomorrow's dinner, cook in the evening.
After food preparation, turn on the kitchen area exhaust, and utilize the bathroom exhaust fan after a hot shower. "Remove heat and wetness at the source," Scheckel says. "Lowering humidity can help enhance comfort.”
6. Keep Or Replace Your Air Conditioning.
"AC effectiveness is mostly a function of the innovation," Scheckel says. "Keep the filter clean to enable great air motion and keep the unit level so the condensation drains effectively.”
If you replace your older room a/c unit with a more recent unit, you might cut your energy costs in half, according to the Department of Energy. Look for a high-energy-efficiency ratio, or EER, or an Energy Star-qualified unit. Greater EER ratings mean a more effective a/c. Energy Star describes a system embraced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to identify energy-efficient items.
7. Let Humidity Set Your Air Conditioning Speed.
Set the Air Conditioner fan speed on high, other than on extremely damp days, says the U.S. Department of Energy. On humid days, set the speed on low. The slower air motion through the air-condition equipment gets rid of more wetness from the air, enhancing comfort in your house.