5 Ways To Keep Your Home Cool And Save Big Bucks This Summer

Dated: 06/30/2017

Views: 286

Image title


The weather folks are saying that residents of the eastern U.S. can look forward to warmer-than-average early-summer temperatures, while those in the west will have “well-above average” temperatures come mid-to-late season.

Don’t even get me started with summer weather here in the south. Suffice it to say that it's plenty hot and humid, even the sky is sweaty.

Summer brings flip-flops, tank tops, shorts, swimsuits, picnics, camping and sky-high power bills.

Learn how to handle the heat with these tips for keeping cool indoors without breaking the bank.

1.Turn it off when you’re not home

Sounds like one of those “duh” statements, right? The Energy Information Administration, however, finds that fewer than 4 percent of us turn off our central air conditioning when nobody will be home.

Air conditioning systems reach peak efficiency when they operate for long periods, according to the experts at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Shutting off the system when you leave in the morning and then turning it on when you return home “ . . . will use less electricity than the unit would use cycling on and off for short periods to maintain the set temperature” while you’re away.

If the house remains unbearably hot while the unit is working to get to a comfortable temperature, they suggest investing in a programmable thermostat. This way you can set it to start the a/c before you get home.

2. Circulate the air

Fans don’t necessarily cool the air, they circulate it. As the air moves over your skin, it lowers your body temperature, sometimes by as much as 6 or 7 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the folks at Climatic Heating and Cooling in Virginia.

Saving energy (and money) by using ceiling fans involves setting the air conditioner’s thermostat to a higher temperature while the fans are in use and turning off the fans when nobody is in the room, according to Kristi Brodd of Advanced Energy.

The longer you use the ceiling fan with the A/C thermostat raised, the more you’ll save. The fan will cost you about a nickel every 12 hours, according to New York Times’ Michael Tortorello. The higher thermostat setting will save you about 10 percent (for each degree you raise it) on your cooling costs.

3. Maintain the a/c system

Even the most energy-efficient air conditioning system won’t lower your cooling costs if it’s not maintained routinely and properly.

A dirty filter, for instance, can cause reduced air flow and the unit will need to work harder to cool the home. The more inefficient the system is, the more power it requires which leads to skyrocketing power bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a clogged filter causes the a/c system to use from 5 to 15 percent more energy.

Other routine maintenance you should perform includes:

  • Ensure sufficient airflow around the unit’s condenser by cutting back shrubs and other foliage to at least 2 feet.

  • A dirty condenser coil can increase the cost of cooling your home by 35 percent, so ensure that it remains clean. If you aren’t sure which part of the unit holds the condenser, check out this nifty diagram at yourdallashandyman.com. And to learn how to clean the coil, watch this YouTube video from the Entergy Corporation.

Clean the floor registers periodically so that they remain dust-free.

4. They’re called “window coverings” for a reason

An easy way to keep the heat out during a hot summer day is to keep the window coverings drawn over the windows.

The Department of Energy suggests purchasing reflective blinds, because “ . . . when completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent.”

Drapery can block the sun and heat, provided the fabric is closed weave and medium-colored. Buy them with plastic backing and you’ll reduce the amount of heat coming through a window by 33 percent, according to the DOE. They also suggest that you hang your drapes as close to the windows as possible and let them fall onto either the windowsill or the floor.

Reflective films on the glass in your windows are also a brilliant way of blocking summer heat but their effectiveness depends on the size of the window, which direction it’s facing and whether or not the window has interior insulation. The DOE suggests that you will get the most savings by applying the film to west- and east-facing windows.

5. Let Mother Nature lend a helping hand

Strategically placed trees help conserve energy and reduces energy bills, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. In fact, you’ll save up to 35 percent on your air conditioning costs by planting large trees on the west, east and northwest sides of your home. The Foundation also suggests planting a shade tree over your air-conditioning unit to keep it cool as well (but don’t neglect cleaning up the leaves and other debris that may clog the condenser).

If a couple of mature trees aren’t in your budget, consider providing only 17 percent shade over the house. According to Beau Brodbeck of Auburn University and Jean-Philippe with the University of Tennessee, you’ll save $10 a month on your power bill. Add another 33 percent shade and you’ll save $20 a month.

Finally, the Department of Energy suggests that something as simple as a “ . . . trellis with a climbing vine can shade a home” and help save money.

So, go ahead — throw on a pair of shorts and a tank top and slip into those flip-flops because you’re ready to take on the summer heat.



Do you want a competitive edge when buying or selling a home in your market? How would you like a home sale guarantee on your listing? Do you like to find deals on homes that no one else knows about? Would you like to get free video tours of homes as soon as they hit the market? These are just a few of the benefits you get when you work with me to buy or sell a home! Be sure to visit my Facebook page @NWAtlantaHomesAndLifestyle and Like us right now to find useful buyer and seller information and to see sample video toursof the hottest deals in Cobb, Cherokee, Bartow, Paulding, and N. Fulton County!!

Want To Learn More? Talk To Bobby Today At: 404-969-4670(Call or Text!)

Latest Blog Posts

Should You Jump Into The Current Real Estate Market

Deciding you’re ready to buy a house is a big moment in your life, whether it’s a first time purchase or you’re snatching up yet another investment property. The home buying process is fraught

Read More

Outdoor Kitchens Points To Ponder

Your new house has an awesome outdoor kitchen, or maybe you just had one installed, either way you’re all set to grill outside all summer (and maybe into the fall and winter, too). Have you

Read More

Choose Native Plant For Easy Yard Maintenance

Every morning when you look out of the window of your breakfast nook into your front yard, you’re met with the same green carpet, devoid of anything remotely interesting or different. It’s not

Read More

Solar Energy 101 Getting Started With Green

As spring begins to really set in across the country a lot of homeowners are finally getting out into the yard and garden, soaking up the sun’s rays. Something else is taking in the rays in a big

Read More