On these hot summer days, there is no modern invention that we appreciate more than air conditioning (thank you Willis Carrier). Although AC provides indoor comfort, rising energy costs can bring discomfort to your monthly budget. AC has become such a necessity that an average of 11 billion is spent each year in air conditioning costs in the United States, according to the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Thankfully, you don't have to completely sacrifice comfort to save. Try these energy saving tips to beat the heat and cool down your home and energy bill.
1. Evaluate and Insulate
Insulation plays a huge role in controlling your energy costs. Check your homes ductwork and search for cracks and openings. Air loss through ducts accounts for 30 percent of a cooling systems energy, according to the DOE. Also search for drafts, openings and cracks that are allowing warm air to enter your home. A local HVAC technician can also check your unit to make sure it is prepared for the summer heat.
2. Increase Air Flow
Save on energy costs by finding natural ways to provide cool air. Open windows when the air is cooler in the mornings and evenings. Create a cross-breeze by using ceiling fans only in the rooms you're using. Ceiling fans can help raise the thermostat temperature by 4 degrees.
3. Reduce the Heat
The oven, stove, dryer and dishwasher raise the temperature in your home and can cause your AC unit to work overtime. Try to use these appliances during cooler times of the day and cook outside. This tip will give you another reason to grill out more often.
4. Stay Cool
Staying hydrated and wearing lightweight clothing can help cool your body temperature cool down naturally. If you're coming inside from the heat, cool yourself down quickly with a damp towel or ice pack instead of reaching for the thermostat. Luckily for locals on the Outer Banks, there are plenty of water sport activities within reach to keep you cool and out for the AC during the day. Head over to the beach, sound or pool.
5. Shade Rooms from the Sun
Curtains and blinds are not only visually appealing, but can also help block sunlight from peaking into your home during the day.
Practicing these energy saving tips can help you save on your energy bill, allowing you more money to spend on your favorite summer activities. Stay cool and enjoy your summer!