In a typical American home, 43% of your utility bills are likely to go toward heating and cooling. And if you live in the Sunbelt, summer heat can mean that for three or four months your electric bill is going to soar. But, not to worry, there are a few energy-saving tips that can help cut that bill down to size. Try these on for size:
Ventilation is Your Friend
If you live somewhere with cool mornings and cool evenings, shut down the AC during those times and open up the house. Raise windows and open doors to create a cross current. Use fans to add to the breeze where necessary. Then when the sun gets higher and the day gets hotter, crank up the central air.
Explore Evaporative Cooling
It may seem a little old school, but evaporative cooling devices can help save energy and lower your electrical costs. Sometimes these ingenious systems are called Swamp Coolers. They are ideal for drier climates.
Upgrade your AC Unit
Sometimes you have to spend money to save money. If your AC unit is more than ten years old it could be time for a switch. The newer air conditioners are far more energy efficient which translates to savings on your electric bill.
Alternative Cooling Technologies
If you want to push the sci-fi envelope, there are new technologies that actually use heat rather than electricity to cool your house. How crazy is that? It’s called absorption cooling. Some homeowners have experimented with earth cooling tubes, but so far, it’s a no go for saving energy efficiently. In arid climates something called radiant cooling can also be fairly effective.
Another best practice is to raise the thermostat a few degrees at night and in the morning. This can mean considerable reductions in your cooling bill. Check back for more energy saving ideas. In the meantime, make yourself something cold, kick back and chill.