If you’re like most homeowners, a hot, humid Minnesota summer brings with it some concerns. As the weather gets warmer, your thoughts may become consumed with strategies to survive the heat while saving money on your utility bill. Should you set your home to a tolerable temperature or forego the air conditioning altogether? Whatever your game plan, consider these air conditioning tips to beat the heat:
Want to know how to win at home cooling this summer? The key is not to turn your thermostat way down. Each degree you dial your thermostat below 78 increases energy consumption by eight percent. You can save money if you set your thermostat higher but just low enough to be comfortable.
A clean home is a healthy home. Dust frequently so dirt doesn’t get into your system and ruin your equipment. Keep registers clear of items like furniture, piles of clothes, and dog beds. Check your filter every month and replace if dirty or clogged. Even minor upkeep like this will improve air quality, help your HVAC system run more efficiently, and extend equipment life.
Make sure you have efficient lighting and appliances. Install LED lights if you are using incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs use heat to create light, but LED lights consume very little power and generate less heat in comparison. Energy Star air conditioners use up to 40 percent less energy than other models, so invest in more efficient equipment that will save you money in the long run.
Go green, but don’t let your home become a greenhouse. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 76 percent of summer sunlight shining on standard double-pane glass enters into and heats up your home. Invest in curtains or close blinds to keep the sun from streaming in through windows and doors.
Humidity can make a home feel significantly warmer than it actually is. Use a dehumidifier to take water out of the air and make warm temperatures feel more bearable. Minimize hot showers, baths, and boiling water for cooking. It’s a great time of year to take a cool, refreshing shower and opt for salads over pasta.
Dining out may not save you money but cooking outside could. Instead of using your oven or stove, pull the grill out and enjoy the outdoors so you don’t counteract your cooling system. You could also use appliances that generate less heat, like crockpots or electric griddles.
A smart thermostat can save up to 15 percent on cooling, or up to $145 dollars a year on utilities. Program your thermostat at a warmer temperature while you are away for a day and then lower the temp if you need when you return. Keep heat-producing appliances like lamps and TV sets away from the thermostat.
Bonus smart hacks:
- Set ceiling fans to run counterclockwise and produce a wind-chill effect.
- Seal air leaks with weather stripping and caulk around your doors and windows so cool air won’t escape.
- Have a technician inspect your ducts to make sure they aren’t leaking and compromising your indoor air quality.
Heating & Cooling Two provides efficient and dependable Bryant air conditioners, programmable thermostats, A/C tune-ups, and a variety of maintenance packages to save you money. We also offer Aeroseal® Duct Sealing so you can be sure you’re not losing cool air or drawing in pollutants from your stuffy attic. Contact us for more information.