When Temperatures Rise

by on March 7th, 2015
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Every summer, I hear people complain about the rising costs of energy. We cannot help that really, because it gets hot, and that makes it more expensive… but we can give you a few tips to help lower that bill a bit. Let’s face it, none of us use those over-suggested methods of turning up the AC and on the Ceiling Fans, but we all simply head straight to the thermostat. Here are a few SIMPLE and CHEAP ways to help save!

1) Should I lower my thermostat and hope it will catch up???

Don’t lower your AC to a temperature it CANNOT maintain.

INSTEAD: Turn it to about 72 degrees, and if it stops cooling, bump the thermostat to that temperature so that it can give your unit a break to kick off. It will keep running nonstop if you don’t, causing your bill to increase, without lowering your temperatures. Your unit will not magically work stronger if you lower the temperature more, but instead it will never reach that temperature you have set it to, and won’t kick off… racking up the bucks.

2) When the sun hits the side of my house in the summer, it turns into an OVEN! What do I do?

Don’t expect your curtains and blinds to do all the work. While this blocks light from entering, it causes a ton of hot air to get trapped between your window and your blinds. The air has to go somewhere, so it goes into your home! This fights your AC and introduces a heat source to your home!

INSTEAD: Determine which windows have the highest amount of sunlight. If you don’t mind the temporary fashion problem, use aluminum foil taped FIRMLY to your window with the most reflective side out. We want to reflect light, not absorb it. We also want to reflect it AT the window, by taping it directly to the glass. If there is a gap, you create that oven affect… If you don’t want to make those windows look so bad, try your local Walmart automotive department for some cheap window tint. This is not quite as effective, but can still help. As for the remainder of the wall. Try visiting your local greenhouse for some fast growing hedges. Blocking the wall with hedges is another way to help reduce the heat caused by sunlight. This may take longer term planning, but will be worth it in the long run.

3) My house stays hot even after the sun goes down! Why?

Don’t keep your A/C lower at night then during the day. Your body goes through regular acclimation and by adjusting the temperature you simply make your days feel worse!

INSTEAD: This is a good time to solve another issue… your attic! During the night is a great time to air out the attic. If you have a garage with access to your attic, this would be a good time to open it up for some air. This will help reduce that heat that is keeping your house warm all day! Remember to close it during the day to prevent the sun’s heat from super-heating your garage. While solar fans are suggested for your attic, a quick fix method is to run an extension chord (ensuring safety first) into your attic, and placing a box fan at the open vents usually on the end of the house. If your attic has 2 vents, one on each end of the house, place one pulling air in, and one pushing air out. Just remember to turn these off on rainy days…

4) Does closing doors in my house help cool it off???

Don’t close the doors to your house if there is an open vent in the room.

Instead close the vents in rooms that do not need to be cooled, and place a towel along the bottom of the outside of the closed doors. Remember that these rooms will get hot, so electronics should be turned off and plants/animals should be removed. It is also important to remember that your AC unit pushes with force. Closing TOO MANY vents can cause damage to your duct work. It is a good idea to have a professional check your duct work about once every 4 to 5 years. If you have a fireplace, you should contact a professional about methods of preventing your air conditioning from escaping the fire place. Fireplace doors are a good method, but you may also cover an open fireplace with a thick curtain the help deter air from escaping.

Have any additional methods that we did not mention??? Write a comment to help others with your great ideas!

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