7 Ways to Beat The Heat This Summer

The weathermen and women across the country are really working hard this year, aren’t they? After an extreme winter with record breaking snowfall they transitioned straight into summer’s hot temperatures, forgoing spring’s milder weather.

The other day I was talking to my brother who lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Temperatures there reached into the upper 90’s a short time ago, highly unusual for a city whose normal summer temperatures usually top out at 82 degrees in July and August.

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Down here in Florida summer’s flames have fanned out across the state. Temperatures here consistently reach into the mid 90’s every day.  But I know that just because the temperature outside is rising doesn’t mean my electricity bill needs to rise with it!

Living in an area of the world that experiences 90 degree days on a regular basis June through October has forced me to pick up a trick or two to keep my bills as low as possible.

One of the first things Mr. Patterson and I did when we bought our current house was to plant shade trees and shrubs on the east and west sides of our house. In the summer their leaves shade our house, reducing the amount of direct sunlight hitting our home. Direct sunlight heats up your home very quickly, causing your AC unit to kick on more than it should.

While researching this article I was fascinated to learn that a home’s exterior paint color can also inflate your air conditioning bills. Most homeowners never consider the energy efficiency of the color of their homes. Light paint colors reflect sunlight which helps to keep homes cool while reducing air conditioning costs.

Darker paint colors can actually INCREASE homeowners cooling bills in the summer by as much as 20 percent according to Insuladd.com.  Darker paint colors absorb more heat, that’s why homes in warmer climates are more often painted in lighter, reflective tones.

On the inside of our house we try to keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher at all times. Each degree below 78 will increase the amount of energy your home uses by 3-4%.

It’s a myth that leaving the AC on while you’re away at work uses less energy than turning it on only when you get home. The fact that your AC unit has to work harder to cool your home after you’ve been gone for several hours does not cost more than if you left it running all day. Actually the opposite is true! Program your thermostat to allow higher daytime temperatures while you’re not there, according to Energy Star this could reduce the average household’s electric bill by as much as $180 a year!

It’s also prudent to close registers and doors to rooms when not in use. This will reduce the amount of space your AC unit is working to cool. Shut the registers in your formal living room, spare bedrooms and office that only get used from time to time. There is no need to cool your entire house when you’re only using part of it!

You can also reduce your cooling costs by using ceiling or floor fans. The energy used by a fan is far less than that of an air conditioning unit. Fans usually cost less than a penny to run an hour. Plus fans can make you feel three to eight degrees cooler allowing you to keep your air conditioning usage to a minimum.

If you’re using a ceiling fan make sure it’s blowing air down rather than up. This will help move warmer air away from your body. There should be a small, unlabeled switch on the side of the fan that controls the air flow. On most ceiling fans a counter-clockwise rotation blows air down and clockwise blows air up. Check by standing directly underneath the fan, if you can feel the fan’s air hitting you hard, then it’s blowing down.

And although somewhat unsightly, window mounted air conditioning units are cheaper to run than central AC units. Just be sure to set it up in a window that is out of direct sunlight!

My favorite way to reduce my cooling costs is to skip the household chores! My husband never believes me when I tell him that I can’t do the laundry or cook for him during the day every summer. But appliances like the clothes dryer, oven, and dishwasher produce heat and make your AC unit have to work that much harder to cool down your home in the summer months. June through October I do my baking in the early morning, my household chores in the evening and cook out on the grill as often as possible to reduce the amount of heat my home generates.

Beating the heat this summer doesn’t have to be an expensive task. Reducing your electric bill with a few tricks like these can really add up in personal savings!

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Keeping Money in Your Pocket,

Nancy Patterson

6 Responses

  1. Mary Foster

    Thanks Nancy. I enjoy reading it, and i learn a lot.

  2. Doug Engel

    2 things not mentioned were insulation in walls and ceilings that make a huge difference in heat loss/gain, and roofing. Not just colour of roofing, with light colours causing less heat gain, but materials as well. I installed a metal roof with a highly reflective paint and immediately noticed my attic temps and temp in the house. Plus the lifetime warranty is nice.

  3. Eunice

    thanks that is good info, another thing you can do is to ask the company how you can save some money, they have this program that when they need light urgent they will use some of your light, you will not even notice it and you save will a lot of money at the end of the year

  4. joan mellor

    I live in the UK and all I can say is ‘WHAT HEAT’

    The League of Power replies:

    Yes, we have the heat but you have the rain!

  5. Henry

    Hi, I am from New Zealand. Can these opportunities be operated from here, or are they only available for US, League of Power members ?

    The League of Power replies:

    Absolutely, our products are designed to work from anywhere in the world.

  6. Hemanta Deka

    I want to be a member of US league of Power

 
 
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