Keep Your House Cool Without Breaking the Bank
There are many effective ways to keep your house cool during the summer months that won’t require you to take out a second mortgage.
by STEPHEN MEADOWS
If you are like me, it’s important to find a way to keep your house cool without breaking the bank. One summer of $400 electric bills was enough to get me to take a second look at my energy habits. So how do you keep your house cool when the average summer temperature is in the mid 90s? Here are some easy ways you can save on your energy bills without suffering!
The first thing I recommend is investing in a programmable thermostat. If you already have one, you know the benefits! Why have your A/C unit running ALL DAY when you don’t even get home until 5 p.m.? Program the unit to relax during the hotter part of the day and begin cooling the house down before you get home. If you want to take it a step further, get a smart thermostat that actually learns when you need a lower temperature. You can control it from your smartphone, so if you need to make adjustments on the go, it’s no problem!! You will see immediate savings on your energy bills if you take advantage of newer thermostats!
Curtains and blinds don’t have to be just for show! They can be an important key to keeping your house cool. If a window is on the sunny side of your house, tilt the blinds up slightly to prevent the rays from coming in. You don’t have to live in darkness, white blinds will still reflect plenty of light with less of the radiant heat. My home office is upstairs and not well insulated. That means it’s always a few degrees warmer in that room. By adjusting my blinds and closing the curtains, I am much more comfortable working. It’s a little dark at times, but a nice lamp solves that problem.
Trees Are Your Friends
What I wouldn’t give for a tree in my yard!! Right before I moved here, the only tree was cut down. This causes the entire back of my house to get full sun ALL afternoon! It’s quite a challenge to keep the back of the house cool. Unfortunately, all but two rooms have a wall on the back. When I move next, I am looking for shady yards. I am also going to pay attention to the direction the house faces. I would prefer if the sun was more angled. As they say in real estate, “location, location, location.”
Isolate Unused Rooms
If you are lucky enough to have an extra room you don’t use on a consistent basis, close the vent and the door to that room. It’s a great way to keep your house cool as the coveted air can be re-distributed to the rooms you do use. Occasionally, I even close my bathroom vent, since the only time I really care about the temperature in there is in the morning when I am getting ready.
Invest In Ceiling Fans
If you don’t have fans already, you may want to consider getting some. Keeping the air circulating can do wonders for the comfort level of your home! They help distribute the air while keeping you cooler. Moving air helps transport the heat you generate away from your body so you can cool down more quickly. Ceiling fans are worth the investment!
Save the Oven
Maybe it’s not the best idea to decide to bake at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Ovens generate an incredible amount of heat. That’s pretty much their job! That heat has to go somewhere, and that’s in your house! If you need to use the oven, try waiting until later in the evening so you are not competing with the A/C unit during the hottest part of the day.
If you are a homeowner, attic insulation is not an expense, it’s an investment! Not only will it save you on your energy bills, it will also help extend the life of your roof — and keep your house a lot cooler! There are many theories on which insulation is best. If you are on a budget, just remember, any insulation is better than none at all! Your bank account will be glad you made the investment!
Stephen is a Brand Ambassador for Coldwell Banker in South/Central Texas and Louisiana and has been in the real estate business since 2001. He is a passionate trainer, published author, and avid foodie! He currently resides in San Antonio, TX, but has lived in amazing cities like Nashville, TN, and New Orleans, LA! Stephen loves food, wine, travel, karaoke, and local culture.