Cooling a home during warmer months can be aggravating, especially when battling a tight budget. Rather than getting hot under the collar when the electric bill arrives, keep your cool. The following tips can alleviate the summer sizzle and help maintain a tight home cooling budget.
BATTEN DOWN THE TIGHT BUDGET HATCHES
Remember those movies in which sailors seal hatches to keep water from pouring into their storm struck ship? Well, on a hot day, you’re the captain of the S.S. Tight Budget, and it’s your job to keep out warm air. The same spaces that allow cold air to seep into homes during the winter, allow warm air inside during the summer. It is therefore important to inspect the following areas:
* Window seals
* Seldom used rooms
Holding a candle in front of windows or doors can detect airflow from cracks. Caulking or sealing these spaces can decrease air seepage. Also, consider partitioning areas that aren’t used frequently. Closing doors and vents to unused rooms when cooling a home can make a difference of five to ten degrees or more. Ensuring an attic is properly insulated can maintain a tight budget as well!
It is amazing just how much appliances can add to the temperature of a room or home. Dishwashers, ovens, toasters, refrigerators, washers, and dryers all produce heat that can bust an already tight budget. If it’s necessary to use these items when cooling a home, consider the following:
* Use a microwave instead of stove or oven for cooking
* Use appliances at night when energy rates are typically lower
* Use cold water to wash clothes
* Dry clothes outside
* Air dry dishes
* Vacuum refrigerator coils and vents every couple months
Don’t forget, even items such as televisions, lights/light bulbs, stereos, DVR and CD players emit heat that hurt your chances of cooling a home. These tips can decrease heat output as well as reduce energy costs for a tight budget.
A TIGHT BUDGET BUSTING DAY
Ambient light is a leading cause in increasing room temperature and can destroy any chance of cooling a home while abiding by tight budget constraints. There are several ways to combat this solar foe.
* Close blinds/curtains on sunny days
* Plant trees/shrubs to block sunlight
* Use awnings
On the other hand, Mother Nature can be used to your advantage. Opening windows allows breezes to cool a home and can be a great money saver. Using fans to circulate air can save on a tight budget and be particularly helpful in cooling a home.
If you are looking for a new air conditioner, bigger isn’t always better. Larger units run for shorter periods and eat up more electricity when cooling a home. If you find it necessary to run an air conditioning unit, consider using a programmable thermostat. This can allow you to leave the air off, or set it at a higher temperature during times you are away, cooling a home on a tight budget more effectively.
This article is for informational purposes only. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is at the reader’s discretion.