At the time of this writing, here in southwest Missouri, it is 92 degrees with a heat index of 105. We are under an excessive heat warning through Saturday evening. 😰
In many areas of the country keeping cool in summer can cost as much, or more, than keeping warm in the winter. Here are a few things that you can do to keep cool while holding down the cost of summer utility bills...
#1. Watch your degree of comfort. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or above. A setting of 78 instead of 73 saves 20 to 25% of your AC operating costs.
#2. Keep the cool air inside. Close doors and windows. Check the weather-stripping. Seal up cracks. Insulate. These measures will help cut heating costs in the winter as well.
#3. Don't block vents. Move furniture away from vents and window units. Trim shrubbery outside, too.
#4. Close drapes or blinds. This helps keep the sun's heat out. Solar screens and shades can also effectively block a large amount of the sun's heat before it enters your home.
(NOTE - We go so far as to cover our windows with foil in the summer...at least the top half...with the shiny side against the glass. It completely blocks the sun and deflects heat away from the house.)
#5. Check your filters. Do this once a month during cooling season. Vacuum or replace them as necessary.
#6. Grow native deciduous trees. Plant them where they will shade your house from the sun's hottest rays in the summer and let warming sun through in the winter.
#7. Check the EER before you buy. Some systems use less energy than others...sometimes only half as much. Find the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) on the yellow energy-guide label. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit. An EER of 10 will consume half the energy of a similar unit rated at 5.
What are some of the ways that you and your family keep utility bills to a minimum and beat the heat of summer?
Until next time...
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