Energy-saving methods can lead to a cooler home
Remember when your parents followed you around shutting off lights you’d left on? They knew something you didn’t, and that was the difference in their utility bills when everyone pitched in by not wasting electricity.
That’s especially a challenge when so much of staying comfortable during hot weather depends on using electricity rather than a variety of energy sources to stay warm in winter. But by judicious use of air conditioning and turning off appliances and lighting when you leave a room, there’s no reason you can’t make a dent in the electric bill.
Another way to minimize air conditioning is to use your room fans wisely. By strategically placing window and box fans so they cool all sections of a room, and making the most of cross breezes and natural ventilation from outside, fans can provide cooled air in your home for lengthy periods of time without turning on the AC.
Also keep in mind that opening your windows isn’t always the solution to keeping the inside of your home cooled down during the dog days of summer. Often, by closing windows and doors and pulling down the shades during the hottest part of the day while the family is at work or elsewhere, you’ll prevent outside heat from entering your home. After a day away, it may amaze you how much cooler the house is compared to the high temperatures outdoors.
Prevent energy loss
There are other inexpensive, environment-friendly ways to zap the heat before it wilts you and your family. If you’re unsure about where your house may have drafts, check with your local electric company.
They’ll often send out a representative to conduct a free energy audit of your rooms, basement and attic and advise you on how to make improvements that will plug up areas you may not have suspected were causing energy loss. Electric plug sockets and recessed light fixtures are some of the culprits that allow this escape to take place.
Even novice do-it-yourselfers can easily install weather stripping around their windows, doors and entries like basement bulkheads. For people who don’t have landscaping that provides shade on their property, install exterior awnings on decks or patios to prevent radiant heat from the sun from heating your house.
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