While summer hasn’t treated us too bad yet here in Minnesota, we’re still always looking for smart and easy ways to keep housing costs low. Have you turned your AC on yet this summer? What tried and true household tricks do you have for keeping your home cool during the summer months? We’d love to hear your suggestions.
Here are a few suggestions we found helpful as we too are doing our best to keep utility bills down during the summer.
1. Adjust your thermostat
When you and your family are all home and in the house, go ahead and get wild! Lower the temperature to 78 degrees if you want, but before you leave the house, set the temperature to rise a few degrees. The Department of Energy reports that homeowners can save five to 15 percent on air-conditioning bills by raising the temperature settings when you’re away from home. So what are you waiting for?
2. Open your windows at night
To help your home cool off from the heat of the day, open your windows around dusk to let the cooler air in. The trick is to remember to close the windows up in the morning to lock the cooler air in the house before you leave for the day or it gets too hot outside.
3. Be smart about your extra appliances
Look around your house for a minute. See an HDTVs, computers, cable boxes, video game systems, coffee makers, toaster ovens, or cell phones chargers? When plugged in and powered on, all of these electronics and appliances generate extra heat. To save on excess electricity consumption, power down or unplug these devices during the day when they aren’t being used or before you go to bed at night. How easy is that?
4. Do a little dusting
Next time you’re in the kitchen, get out your duster or vacuum to attack the excess dust on your refrigerator coils. When the coils underneath or behind your refrigerator are covered in dust, your fridge has to work that much harder - ultimately, driving up your electricity bill. A little dusting from time to time will keep your refrigerator running efficiently.
5. Give your air conditioner a check up
When was the last time you had your AC unit tuned up? Have you changed the air filters recently? According to Angie’s List experts, a typical air conditioning tuneup should cost you around $70 - $100. Your should have your AC unit checked about once a year to keep it running efficiently.
6. Plant some greenery
Investing in a few outdoor plants or trees is one great way to help block out summer’s heat from your house. To avoid early and late-day sun, start by planting trees on the east or west of your house. Any vines or other patio vegetation you keep near your home can help to cool the air naturally.