During the fall and winter seasons – and specifically, during the colder months of the year – your heating bill can get truly out of control. Especially with oil and gas prices rising even as we have to tighten our belts in a post-recession economy, your heating bills in those months can be practically unbearable. Yet what are you to do? Sure, you can bring the thermostat down to the bare minimum, but at a certain point you have to bite the bullet and keep your home warm enough to, you know, survive! You simply don’t have a choice in the matter, especially when winter takes a turn for the worst, as the winter of 2013 to 2014 did! To save money, in fact, many are turning to wood stoves and other alternative heating methods or ways to save money on heating bills.
Sadly, a wood stove isn’t an option for you when it comes to the summertime. Yes, that’s right; now that our extra-harsh and incredibly long winter is over, and your heating bills are finally a thing of the past (for now…) you have to worry about paying your cooling bills! While the cost of keeping your home cool doesn’t rely on the cost of gas or oil, it is still tied to your electricity bill, which as you know, can be quite expensive in its own right. Throwing in an air conditioning unit running all hours of the day, struggling to keep your home cool, can make your electricity bill absurdly high!
Of course, you don’t have to settle for a high electricity bill in the summer. You can use many of the same cost-saving methods that you employed during the winter to save on your cooling bills, in addition to some summer-specific bill-reducing techniques. Not only will you save money, but you will also be helping out the rest of the world by reducing your carbon footprint! Here are some tried-and-true ways to keep your cooling bills down while still remaining chilled out and entirely comfortable this summer:
1. Don’t Underestimate Mother Nature
With all of our technology, it’s easy to forget how much the natural world impacts your home. For example, it’s obvious that the sun is the source of all the heat coming into your home on a sunny day – so why make it easy for your home to get hotter? Block out as much sun as you can and you won’t be fighting against the natural process of sunlight coming into your home and heating the air. You can do this simply by keeping your blinds closed as often as possible! Cheap, easy, and efficient.
2. It’s Healthy to Vent… Upstairs
Put simply, hot air rises. You know this, we know this, but how can you put that knowledge to work for you? By opening up vents on higher floors while closing off vents on lower floors. On the first floor, you can keep air “trapped” so that the cold air stays in your home. The upper floors, where the most hot air is, can be vented so that fresh air is flowing and staying cool, rather than simply building up and superheating the upper floors of your home.
By controlling the sunlight coming into your home and minding how air moves from room to room and floor to floor, you can exercise control over your house’s temperature in a cheap, easy, cost-efficient way. You’ll be amazed at how much lower your energy bills will be as a result!
+Ken Uhrich likes houses. In fact he lives in one. He gives home building and home improvement tips on the Custom Home Group website.