Southwest Florida is heating up and summer is fast approaching. Get ahead of the heat wave with these eight ways to save money while keeping your home and family cool.
1. Use CFL or LED Lightbulbs
Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs use up to one-third the amount of energy of incandescent lightbulbs while providing the same amount of visible light and lasting longer! LED lightbulbs are also a great alternative as they’re more efficient and last longer than CFLs. Whichever you choose, both provide less heat than your typical lightbulb!
2. Cover Pots and Avoid Opening the Oven
When cooking, take some extra steps to prevent lingering heat in the house. Cover pots and pans and use the vent fan to push the rising warm air out. Prevent the oven from heating up and releasing more heat by utilizing the oven light and window to avoid opening the door. Also, once your food is almost done cooking, turn off the oven a few minutes before to reduce the warm temperature.
3. Use Surge Protectors
Plug your electrical devices (like televisions and computers) into surge protectors to help reduce heat around your home. The surge protector will allow you to turn off all of your devices and save you from spending more money while creating more comfort. Remember that many household electronics still produce heat even when they’re not being used, so don’t leave your laptop on your bed!
4. Repair Gaps in Doors and Windows
Keeping up any maintenance of your doors and windows will prevent cool air from escaping outside. The only time it is a good idea to open up the windows and turn off the A/C during the summer is at night when the temperature drops below the mid-70’s. Otherwise, you’ll have to sleep in the humidity!
5. Do Household Chores at Night
Running a dish washer, washing machine, or dryer during the day creates a lot of unnecessary heat in the house that the A/C has to overcome. It is best to use the lowest cycle on any machine to get the job done, preferably at night. Cleaning the lint screens in between each load and dryer vent pipe every other day will also help increase the efficiency of the dryer. If possible, avoid the dryer completely and use a clothesline.
6. Clean Your A/C Filters
During the warmer months, you should be cleaning your filters more often (about once a month). This will take pressure off the HVAC system and allow the air to flow through the system more efficiently. The less work the system does, the more money you save!
7. Take Cold Showers
Taking cold showers will help you keep cool and limit hot air from escaping into the house. If you do use your hot water, turn on the vents in the bathroom and leave them running for about 20 minutes after you’re done showering. The hot air will be sucked up and pushed outside, ridding you of the damp, humid air.
8. Add Insulation to Your Home
Adding insulation to the structure of your home and replacing the roof will keep the cold air from the air conditioner in the house. It is beneficial because most of the electric bill for the air conditioner comes from cooling the floors and walls. If the walls are properly insulated, they can better contain the cold air. In addition, lighter color shingles on the roof will hold much less heat, allowing the insulation in the walls to stay cool as well.
Keep your family cool and comfortable with these tips. Don’t just survive the Florida summer – enjoy it!