Every summer, it seems as if staying cool costs more and more. Turning off the air conditioner is not an option for most people, especially in the southern states that have to deal with heat and high humidity. You can beat the summer heat without breaking the bank by following a few tips. You can begin to save by comparing utility rates in your area with Reliant Electricity to ensure you are getting the best deal for your budget.
Invest in radiant barrier window film. This film reduces the amount of heat gain coming through the window glass. There are different strengths available; purchase the highest you can afford. Installation is as simple as cleaning the window, spraying a layer of soapy water on the glass and applying the film. To remove it, spray with soapy water and scrape with a plastic scraper or lift off. Some are decorated with designs to allow for privacy.
Thermal curtains also reduce heat gain further. Close curtains on the sunny side of the house and open them on the shaded side to allow light in. Maximize heat gain blockage by combining the curtains with radiant barrier window film.
Install and use awnings over windows and patio doors. They provide shade for the windows and cut heat gain from the sun. A wide variety of outdoor fabrics and awnings are available. Many different styles are retractable so that foul weather will not damage them.
If the house’s current HVAC system is inefficient, consider purchasing a new solar/grid hybrid system. Manufacturers are stating that these systems can save up to 60 percent or more on the energy bills. Over time, this system will pay for itself.
One way to make your HVAC system more efficient is to have it professionally tuned and inspected regularly. Have the ducting system inspected and cleaned every year. An efficient system uses less power; close vents to unused rooms during the day and turn up the thermostat. You will reduce the area to be cooled and for every degree the thermostat is raised, you can save as much as three percent on the utility bill.
Install and use ceiling fans in each room. Moving air feels cooler; you can raise the thermostat temperature as a result.
Make a habit of placing your energy savings in a special account. It will grow over time. You can spend the money to invest in items that will save even more over time such as:
Energy Star certified appliances
Insulation for the attic and walls
Energy efficient doors and windows
You can stay cool, save money and have an energy efficient home all at the same time.