Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Saving Money While Staying Cool

There are a lot of different ways to stay cool in your home during these hot summer months. The first and most favorable way is to have a Central AC unit installed or running throughout your home. As much as this keeps your house at a cool temperature, it may not be the option some can afford to run or install, as it can be very pricy (approximately $1.50 an hour).

 If that's the case, there are some other alternatives to having a cool house.

1. Attic Fans/House Fan - These fans will help vent out the heat from the attic in the summer time and cost minimal to run. Solar attic fans cost nothing to run as they run on the solar energy from the sun. Attic fans are inexpensive to have installed and run. Running attic/house fans for 10 summers is cheaper than running your central AC for 1 summer.

2. Ceiling Fans - Ceiling fans will help to circulate the air in the house and are especially effective with central AC. Average cost per day is around $.20/day.

3. Window Fans - When the temperature outside drops below the temperature inside, turning on those window fans will help to create a nice cool evening. By using this method only in the evenings and through the night should cost you roughly $.25/day.

4. Shades - Having blinds and shades on the windows for most of us is a privacy/decoration desire, but having them drawn down over the windows during the summer to block out the sun is highly effective in preventing the sun's heat coming into your home.

5. Wall/Window AC Units - Compared to central AC, these may be more of a pain but they are more efficient and much cheaper than central AC. These units (depending how big they are) costs about $60-$80 a month to run.

6. Trees - Planting trees on the South/West side of your homes will give you shade during these hot summer months. Choosing trees that drop their leaves will give you sun in the winter for that extra heat.

7. Insulation - If you don't have at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic, consider adding some for that extra barrier, as well as making sure your duct work is free from leaks and well insulated.

If you love your Central AC, make sure it's working to the best of it's ability for the lowest costs. See that landscaping is not crowding the outside unit, or compressor, as this needs to breathe to work efficiently. With landscaping crowding it, it may have to work harder which will cost you more. Always check to see if it needs cleaning and how to clean it. Some need to be turned off where others are okay to be left on. If you are unsure, have a professional clean it for you. The recommended time is every year.

Enjoy this beautiful weather and stay cool!

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