Living in southeast Texas, you are likely no stranger to high cooling costs. Keeping a home comfortable in the summer can be difficult. That is why it is important to consider ways to reduce cooling costs, especially in these hotter months. These tips will help you not only reduce cooling costs, but save energy, as well!
Fans do not actually lower the temperature in a room. However, they do make the air seem cooler. Using a wind chill effect, they can make your home feel much more comfortable without needing to lower the temperature. Because they don’t lower the temperature, you do not need to run ceiling fans when no one is home. This is a waste of energy.
Always ensure that your fans are moving the correct direction. In the warmer months, your fan should rotate counter-clockwise. This will create a cooler downward air flow. This air flow In cooler months, switching the fan to rotate clockwise will redistribute the warm air in your home. As in the summer, it is not necessary to use ceiling fans when no one is home, as it does not affect the actual temperature of the room.
If you do not already have ceiling fans in areas where they could be helpful, here are a few guidelines. The standard size is about 44″. This is a great size for a standard-sized bedroom or even kitchen. For a larger room like a living room or game room, you may want to opt for a 50-54″ fan. Smaller bedrooms could even use a somewhat smaller 36-40″ fan.
A smart, programmable thermostat will help reduce your cooling costs, as well. A programmable thermostat can help keep your home comfortable according to your schedule. Without having to adjust the thermostat manually, a programmable thermostat can run on a set schedule that coincides with yours to keep your family most comfortable.
A smart thermostat can sense when the home is occupied and adjust the temperature according to your set parameters. Alternately, it can raise the temperature when it senses that no one is in the home. Smart thermostats also give you the ability to adjust the temperature of your home from anywhere with associated applications. This way, you can adjust your home’s temperature setting prior to arriving at home. With this ability, you don’t have to wait until you return home to make the adjustment and wait for the A/C to cool the home.
When you have regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system, it keeps your system running in the most efficient manner. Regularly checking the components of your system for damage or normal wear and tear will allow for timely repairs. Keeping all of your system in the best shape possible will always make your system more efficient.
Replacing any incandescent light bulbs in your home with LED light bulbs can reduce cooling costs. Incandescent light bulbs produce more heat and require more energy to function. Changing to LED bulbs can remove that extra heat from your home. You can save money on cooling costs and the cost of power to light the bulb.
Shading your home well can help reduce the work your HVAC unit needs to do to cool your home. You can use a variety of avenues to shade your home.
Planting trees, specifically to the south and west sides of your home, will help ease the effect of direct sunlight on your home. Your HVAC system will not have to battle the extra heat from afternoon sun to cool in your home. Additionally, blinds and/or solar screens can block much of the sunlight coming in through windows. Using light colored blinds will reflect more of the heat from the sunlight. Solar screens are placed outside the window and can block up to 90% of the sunlight coming in!
Your home isn’t the only thing that will benefit from shade. Planting shrubs around your condenser outdoor unit can increase its efficiency! Be sure to look for a shrub option and plant at a distance that will provide shade but will not block air flow to the unit.
Heating up the oven or stove can mean heating up the entire home! Instead, opt for grilling or slow cooker meals to feed your family in the hotter summer months. Grilling is always fun anyway, and when does meat off the grill not beat out meat prepared other ways? You will use less energy cooking and will not have to challenge your A/C to cool off the after effects.
Ductless A/C units are a great option if you have a particular room you would like to be cooled more than other rooms. Ductless A/C units are a great option in a location where you might consider a window unit. However, unlike a window unit, only a small hole has to be drilled into the wall, allowing for more efficiency. The small hole will produce less leakage and security concerns than a regular window unit. A ductless unit reduces cooling costs by allowing you to cool a specific area of your home more than others. For example, do you like to sleep in cool temperatures but don’t want to pay to keep your entire home very cool at night? A ductless unit in your bedroom may be the answer!
There are other ways to help reduce cooling costs in your home, but these are probably the most effective using your current HVAC system. Summer in Houston brings soaring temperatures and crazy humidity. Use these tips to reduce cooling costs to be able to stay more comfortable in your home through the hot summer months. What do you and your family do to stay comfortable in the summer? What do you do to reduce cooling costs? Share with us below in the comments!