Looking for ways to drop your thermostat without raising your energy bill? The goal is to minimize sources of heat and remove built-up heat from inside your home. Following money saving methods for cooling your home.
- When cool air is delivered to your rooms, it should move freely so arrange furniture and drapes so they don't restrict airflow from registers.
- Circulate the air in the room by utilizing a whole-house fan or ceiling fans. Or, use the “fan only" setting on your heating/cooling thermostat. Constant air movement will make you feel comfortable in a room that is 2 or 3 degrees warmer than a still room. Raising your thermostat by one degree equates to a 2% savings on your energy bill.
- Keep drapes and shades closed, or install awnings over windows that face the sun. Also, consider installing inexpensive heat-reflecting film on windows. This will keep your house cooler and will reduce glare and ultraviolet rays that damage furniture and floors.
- Clean and replace the air filters in your furnace to increase efficiency.
- Install a programmable thermostat if your system doesn't have one and learn to use it properly. Program the thermostat to increase a few degrees when you’re at work. Turn off the air conditioner while out of town.
- Since air conditioners work hard to remove moisture from the air, try to reduce humidity inside your home. Minimize washing and drying clothes, showering and cooking during the day, if possible. Turn on ventilating fans but be sure to turn them off when you're finished so that they don't extract cooled air unnecessarily from the house.
- Reduce losing cool air by weatherizing your home with caulk, weather stripping and insulation to cut back on the movement of air from inside to out and vice versa.
- Talk with an air conditioning contractor about installing dampers to restrict the flow of cooled air to rooms you rarely use. Also, close doors or registers in those rooms but ask a professional about this to be sure it won't affect the efficiency of your system.
- Old equipment may be using far more energy than necessary to cool your home, so update your air conditioner if it’s old.
- Reduce the transfer of heat through the roof and walls by insulating your attic. This will give you the greatest comfort for the least amount of expense.
- Install a foil radiant barrier in the attic. Staple it to the underside of the roof rafters, allowing an air space between the foil and the roof sheathing. Place staples about 3 inches apart. Position seams between sheets of foil centered on the rafters and seal the seams with a bead of caulking compound. Plant trees, large bushes and vines to provide shade. Choose deciduous varieties if you want to allow the sunlight to warm the house during the winter. Be sure to plant them in places where they will not block breezes.
- Turn off incandescent lights and heat-generating appliances unless you absolutely need them. When it's time to cook, opt for the barbecue instead of the oven and cook top.
Hilary Basile is a writer for http://www.myguidesusa.com The MyGuidesUSA.com network of sites is the ultimate guide to the USA. Individual portals offer valuable tips and resources for dealing with life’s major events. Find home improvement tips and resources at http://www.myguidesusa.com/homeimprovement