With summer temperatures hitting record highs across the United States, homeowners everywhere are battling to beat the heat. However, energy costs are getting steeper, so running central air everyday can send your electricity bills soaring! We turned to Leslie Press, the home expert at Next Day Blinds, to get her ten best tricks for keeping cool, all while keeping your energy costs under control.
Go Solar: Single-pane unshaded windows account for up to 45 percent of a home's accumulated heat. All window treatments have energy saving properties, but some are inherently more efficient than others. Solar Sheers are a great choice for addressing energy concerns.
Ditch the Dishwasher: Instead of using your dishwasher (which adds to the house temperature), pull out those rubber gloves and scrub the dishes with cool water instead.
Help Out Your AC: Properly maintaining your air conditioners is a great way to maximize efficiency, and it's important to clean the filters often. Also, when buying a new air conditioner, always make sure it is properly sized.
Close the Shades: You may not realize this, but turning off the lights, shutting off your air conditioners and closing all of your shades when leaving a room will keep it cooler for when you return.
Stay Hydrated, Even Inside The Home: Keep your body cool and hydrated with icy, refreshing beverages like cold water or frozen drinks.
Stay Low: If you don’t have air conditioning, stay on the lowest floor of your home and set up a fan. An electric fan won’t cool the air further, but it will create circulation and help to keep your body temperature down.
Conserve Energy: Unless you absolutely need them, turn off incandescent lights and other heat generating appliances. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, which use less energy but produce the same amount of light.
Keep Cool Air In and Hot Air Out: Insulation is not just for the winter! Make sure your windows, doors and attic are well insulated. Upgrading your insulation not only keeps you cooler, but also saves on energy bills.
Window Treatments Are Key: Use white shades, blinds or drapes to reflect heat away from entering your home. Curtains facing west and south should stay closed during the day.
Shade For Your AC: Plant trees, shrubs and bushes to shade your outside air conditioning unit from the sun. Your unit will use less electricity and be more efficient, just as long as the plants don't interfere with any airflow coming into the house.