Summer is a season that many of us associate with fun. From backyard barbecues to beach trips to family vacations, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy oneself throughout the summer months. Still, if there’s one noteworthy downside to summer, it would have to be exorbitant cooling costs. Instead of trying to ascertain the reasons for said costs, homeowners tend to throw up their hands and accept them as an inescapable fact of life. However, if you’re interested in keeping your utility bills manageable this summer, you’d do well to take stock of the following behaviors.
Refusal to Use Ceiling Fans
Refusing to use your home’s ceiling fans to their full potential or install dependable ceiling fans altogether can result in a very expensive summer. Good ceiling fans can work hand-in-hand with your air conditioning and efficiently distribute the cool air it generates throughout your entire house. They can also function as independent cooling tools when their blades are adjusted to turn counterclockwise. This imbues them with the ability to produce refreshing breezes that flow directly downward – which can prove extremely useful in households without AC.
Additionally, if summertime temps in your area tend to cool down after the sun sets, dependable ceiling fans can help you enjoy this gift from Mother Nature. Simply shut off your air conditioning, open some windows and allow your fans to circulate the cool outdoor air and set the stage for a comfortable night’s slumber.
When seeking out the right fans, it’s important to take your individual cooling needs, home décor and available ceiling space into careful consideration. For example, if you’re working with very little ceiling space, you’d do well to shop for a low profile ceiling fan.
Ineffective Window Dressings
Because allowing too much sunlight into your home stands to increase the temperature, it’s in your best interest to keep your curtains, drapes or blinds closed during the sun’s peak hours. Although the intent is to limit the amount of sunlight that finds its way into your home, some window dressings are ill-equipped for this task. For example, if your curtains or blinds are made of light, thin materials, sunlight should have very little trouble shining right through them.
If you’re on the hunt for window dressings that are well-suited to minimizing sunlight, look no further than blackout curtains. The thick, durable materials of which these curtains are composed enable them to keep indoor sunlight to the barest possible minimum. This, in turn, helps seal in cool air and makes it easier to maintain comfortable indoor temps.
Blackout curtains can also prove useful to anyone who hates having their sleep interrupted by the early-rising summertime sun. Since these curtains effectively block out light, they’re conducive to the creation of melatonin, which can help you fall asleep in a timely manner and stay asleep for long periods.
Inefficient Doors and Windows
Even if your doors and windows are kept securely shut, a fair amount of cool air is likely to escape through them. This is particularly true in the case of lightweight doors and single-paned windows. If you’re interested in sealing in cool air and keeping warm air from outside at bay, consider making the switch to energy-efficient doors and windows.
Whereas energy-efficient doors are composed of much thicker materials than standard-grade doors, energy-efficient windows contain multiple panes. Both are designed to keep cool air inside and warm air outside. However, because they come with higher price tags than traditional doors and windows, many homeowners regard them as prohibitively expensive. While it’s true that they cost more in the short term, energy-efficient doors and windows can help facilitate tremendous savings over time. So, if you’re able to cope with the short-term financial sacrifice, you’re likely to reap some pretty big rewards in the long run.
Far too many of us have our enjoyment of summertime hindered by high utility costs. Keeping a normal-sized residence comfortably cool all season long can cost a pretty penny – particularly if air conditioning is your only go-to. Additionally, the more aware you become of your household’s preferred cooling habits, the more room for improvement you’re likely to find. So, if enormous home cooling costs have gotten you down, make an effort to phase out the habits discussed above.
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