ORLANDO, Fla. – Here in Central Florida, it comes as no surprise that the summer months are packed with heat and humidity. Almost each afternoon heat indices soar into the triple digits even though our highs, on average, run in the low 90s.
These hot days of summer can cause a big blow to the household budget with energy bills alone. So we compiled some easy ways to keep the house cool without blasting the AC:
1. Keep ceiling fans on during the day, including bathroom exhaust fans
Usually ceiling fans are used to blow air down, but instead during the summer, try running the fan counterclockwise to help move air around. Since colder air tends to sink, using a fan to rise the air up helps spread the cooler air across the entire room. And don’t forget to use those bathrooms exhaust fans. After your shower, keep it running for about half an hour to help suck out the hot air that built up.
2. Keep interior doors open
Continuing the topic on air circulation in your home, make sure to keep interior doors open during the day. This simple step helps reduce hot spots in your home and makes it easier for your air conditioner to cool the house more evenly.
3. Keep blinds closed or add tints to windows
It’s always nice to let natural light in during the day, but it’s been proven that up to 30% of heat in the house comes through windows. Without blinds or tints, your house practically turns into a greenhouse with sunlight and heat entering but not being able to escape easily. Make sure to focus your window coverings on your south and west exposures. By using blinds or tints, you can bring down your interior temperature almost 10-20 degrees.
4. Cook less and grill more
This might seem like common sense but using the stove or oven adds a lot more heat to your home. Of course, you can’t eliminate using your kitchen but try to find creative ways to cook. You can try recipes that have lower cooking times or use the grill outside.
5. Keep up maintenance on your AC
Here in Central Florida, where air conditioners run year-round, this is a good tip to remember no matter the season. Make sure you are giving some TLC to your AC unit. Periodically clean out the drain and replace the air filter. This in turn will help the AC run more efficiently, helping you save money on energy and repair costs.
6. Invest in a programmable thermostat
This one might cost a bit in the beginning but could save you lots more in the long run. By investing in a programmable thermostat, you eliminate unnecessary temperature tweaking throughout the day. Energy.gov suggests keeping the house around 78 degrees while you’re home. This might not be doable for some households, but at least trying to make that a goal could be an option. When controlling your thermostat, make sure you also pay attention to the humidity control setting. A small change to the moisture content in your house can really affect how it feels inside.
Remember, at the end of the day, the goal is to have the AC work less and to keep more money in your pocket.
If you have any creative tips on how you keep your house cool, please post them in the comment section below.
Stay cool, friends.