Combat High Heat with a Light Wallet

ImageIn many parts of the United States, June came in swinging, boasting temperatures well into the 90-degree range in many regions before we could even call it summer. It’s a dream come true for the beachgoer, but for homeowners? Not so much. The summer swelter for many folks is cause for moaning and groaning when they’re forced to shell out the monthly cash for the expensive luxury that is air conditioning.

According to a study, over $22 billion per year is what Americans spend on the electricity to cool their homes alone. On a tight budget, it’s difficult to swing, and what with the constant concerns about the environment it’s even more problematic. Depending on the climate, the energy used to cool your home could be anywhere from 15 to 70 percent of your entire energy usage.

Luckily, there are ways to cut back on the energy you use and the money you spend. If you want your savings to be as cool as your home, try taking these precautions this summer.

Let a New AC be the Energy Star of your Home

It does sound kind of counter-intuitive to recommend replacing your air conditioner in order to save money, but rest assured, it’s an investment that could pay for itself. Air conditioner units that are more than ten years old are nothing but energy guzzlers. Getting a new window unit with a high Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) will reduce your cooling costs significantly. Always buy units with an Energy Star and Energy Guide label, and before you know it, you’ll have saved more than the cost of the unit itself.

Don’t Waste your Energy on Too Many BTU’s

You’re probably already aware that units with more BTU’s have more cooling power, and you absolutely should not be taking a shot in the dark when deciding how many your unit needs to have. A unit that’s too small will have to work overtime and may burn out more quickly, while a unit that’s too large is just adding onto your bill without necessity. Check out the Energy Star chart for more information on what size unit to buy.

Be a Fan of your Ceiling Fan

Did you know that ceiling fans tack on less than one cent per hour to your electricity bill? It’s so much more energy efficient than an A/C unit, and it can make your home feel up to 8 degrees cooler. On less humid days, give our A/C a break in favor of the ceiling fan, or use the two combined when you have your air conditioner on a lower setting. Alternating between the two is a great way to cut back on the amount of energy you use and the cost of your electricity bill.

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