7 tips to stay cool and save money

woman cooling off with fan

Summer is the perfect time of year for poolside fun, barbecues and vacations. But with summer fun comes summer heat. As temperatures rise, you are probably looking for ways to save. Here are seven tips to help you beat the heat while keeping your energy costs cool.

1. Consider an energy audit

Contact your local utility provider or a professional energy assessment company and see if they can conduct an energy audit on your home to determine how well your house is keeping the cold air in. Air can escape from your home through doors, windows, baseboards, cracks or a poorly insulated attic. An energy audit will check for air leaks and recommend ways to make your home more energy efficient.

Not wanting to hire a professional? You can complete your own audit by surveying your home. Run your hand around doors, windows and baseboards to check for air leaks. Caulk around windows and doors, replace broken or cracked weatherstripping and add additional insulation if necessary.

2. Upgrade to a smart thermostat

Smart thermostats allow you to remotely control the heat and air conditioning in your home via smart phone or internet-connected device. Properly programming your thermostat to coordinate with when you’ll be home could end up saving you quite a bit of money in energy costs in the summer and year-round.

3. Close the blinds and curtains

Keep the sunlight (and therefore the heat) out by keeping the blinds and curtains closed during the hottest parts of the day. If it gets cool at night, you can open the windows and avoid using your air conditioner as well.

4. Use ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are great for cooling a room and are already installed in most homes. If your ceiling fan has a reversible motor, make sure the blade is set to downward (or counter-clockwise) as this will cool the room more efficiently. If you don’t have ceiling fans, portable fans are inexpensive and effective. Make sure to turn off any fans in empty rooms.

5. Try to use bigger appliances at night

Running the bigger appliances like the stove, oven, dishwasher, washing machine or dryer during the day can generate extra, unneeded heat. Wait to run the dishwasher and washer/dryer at night and only when you have a full load. When it comes to cooking, try using the microwave or grill as this will help keep the house cooler. If you want to bake, consider making a smaller portion that may fit in a toaster oven.

6. Upgrade to LED bulbs

Not only do these bulbs last for several years, but they also stay cool to the touch. This reduces heat and could also save you from having to frequently buy new bulbs.

7. Set the water temperature

Heating your home’s water is one of the biggest contributing factors to your energy bill. Setting your tank-based water heater temperature to 120 degrees (most default temperature is set at 140 degrees) and the dishwasher and washing machine temps to warm instead of hot can be cost efficient. It might be tough, but taking a cooler shower could also help reduce your monthly bill.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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