For those who failed earth science in first grade, heat is generated from exposure to sunlight, which comes from that giant fireball that skates across the sky every 24 hours like clockwork. It’s easy these days to just crank up the ‘ol AC, but with rising electricity costs there are cheaper ways to manage your home’s temperature without breaking the bank.
Armor Your Windows for Battle!
Installing a set of curtains provides additional protection from the sun for a small investment of time and money. They even make thermal curtains like THIS that reduce heat in the summer and insulate in the winter from $15 a panel, not to mention the added bonus of upgrading your décor from dorm chic to young adult.
If curtains aren’t your style, you can always tint your windows, but be warned getting it up without bubbles might drive you a little insane.
Fans: The Original AC
The best bang for your buck to remove built up heat is a good ceiling or standing fan. A single fan can make a room feel six to seven degrees cooler, not to mention that even the most power hungry fan running twelve hours a day will only run you about ten bucks a month. Score!
Speaking of fans, have you ever noticed that little switch on the side of your ceiling fan? It controls the direction the blades spin, so make sure it is set to draw the air upwards and you will be set.
Additional Tips and Tricks
Appliances like computers and televisions emit ambient heat, so try not to leave them on during the day and make sure they aren’t located too close to your thermostat as they can cause the AC to run longer than normal.
You can also replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones (which operate at 1/5 of the power and ambient heat level) if you really want to go the full hog.
Dishwashers and washing machines create humidity when you run them (which makes the air feel warmer than it actually is) so be sure to ventilate with fans to minimize the humidity in your house.