Everybody likes the heat until… Well, it gets too hot.
If you’re worried about your A/C bill getting out of hand this year, don’t worry because there are plenty of things you can do.
Regardless if you have a big budget or no budget at all there is something on this list that you can follow to keep your home cooler on a budget.
Block the sun from hitting your home
One of the main reasons your home is getting extremely hot is most likely because of the roof absorbing the sun’s rays.
Unfortunately, the majority of roofs are dark colors, which makes things worse. However, if you have the budget you can invest in a Cool Roof or a Cool Roof Coating, which will deflect a lot of the sun’s rays off of your home.
Not only will a Cool Roof reduce the need your A/C at peak times of the day and cool down places that don’t get A/C (the garage), but it will also extend your roof’s life.
For those of you that don’t want to invest in a new roof to save a couple hundred a year on your A/C bill then you might want to invest in planting some leafy trees around your home. Not only will you make your home look more beautiful, but the shade that the trees will provide will act as nature’s Cool Roof and reduce your home’s temperature.
Cover your windows
Windows allow for a lot of the sun’s heat to come into your home directly. Making sure your blinds or drapes are closed helps a little bit in cool down the house, but you can go a step further.
Solar screens can be installed on the outside of your windows to block up to 70% of the solar heat that is transmitted onto your windows.
Not only will this block a lot of heat, but since the screens are mesh you can also have the windows open and allow natural airflow to enter and circulate in your house.
Adjust the thermostat wisely
The easiest way to be savvy with your thermostat is to buy a programmable thermostat and have it installed in your home.
This will allow you to have full control of the automated adjustments of the A/C. You can set the optimal temperatures for when you are home, asleep or not at home.
However, if you don’t want to invest in a programmable thermostat you can manually be savvy as well.
A good rule of thumb is to have the temperature at 78 degrees when you are home on hot days and turned up a little higher when you are not home or asleep.
Following this tip could save you up to 15% on your A/C bill alone.
Fans can help too
Fans are great because they are easily obtainable and do not need to be installed. They will help you circulate the air around your home and prevent you from having to turn the A/C on too.
In order to circulate air the best be sure to not have any fans near the open windows. Keeping your fans on the opposite sides of the room from the windows will ensure that you get the optimal circulation of the cool air.
This write up isn’t about cooking advice, but in times of high temperatures, you should avoid going crazy in the kitchen.
Try not to use the oven or the stove top because those will both act as a heater for your home and increase the temperature by a lot. Not only will it increase the temperature, but it will cause your A/C to work even harder and even use up more electricity.
Some easy alternatives are to use the microwave, eat raw foods or order some cooked food to be delivered to your home.
Maintain the AC
Sometimes making sure the A/C is doing its job is the last thing that could be on your mind when it is not hot out. However, the best time to make sure your A/C is in its best working condition is when the temperatures are cooler.
Why? The demand for A/C maintenance workers is lower.
You should always make sure the filter is clean so there is an optimal air flow and that the unit is level so the condensation drains well from the unit.
If your A/C is old it would be a good investment to replace it with a newer version. Newer A/C’s are more efficient and will make a large dent in your A/C bill.
On those really humid days that are unbearable, make sure you set the A/C fan on low.
Usually, people like to set the A/C on full power, but the low setting fan will get rid of a lot of the humidity in the home and make the living space more comfortable for everyone.
Sometimes it is better to go old school and cheap.
Hoping in a cold shower or placing a cold wet rag on the back of your neck is a great way to cool your body’s internal temperature down.
One of my personal favorites on those hot days is the personal hand held misters.
Air leaks are one of the most important things to take care of when it comes to optimizing your A/C costs. Having a ton of air leaks in your home is like building a house on quicksand.
An easy, but time-consuming, thing to do is to buy a can of Great Stuff and try to source all of the leaks by sealing all of the plumbing lines, electric wires, recessed lighting, windows, and crawl spaces over the course of a weekend.
Another thing you can do is upgrade your old windows and doors with newer and more energy efficient models that not only do a better job at keeping your home’s temperature stable, but they will also block out a lot of outside noises.
Fixing your air leaks can save you upwards of $200 a year.
Hopefully, you found some great ideas on saving the cost on your A/C bill with these 9 tips. If you have any tips that I didn’t mention be sure to let me know in the comments below.
Author Bio: Blake is a full-time General Contractor for Project Build Construction Group Inc and in his free time is likes to hone in on his writing skills. Feel free to check out other content Blake has written about home improvement on the Project Build Blog.