Helpful Tips for Staying Comfortable on a Budget
The scorching summer heat is just around the corner and you know what that means. There go your utility bills through the roof! But running your air conditioning unit doesn’t have to kill your budget. Here are some great tips to stay comfortable this summer without breaking the bank.
Use Your Windows
If you have any windows that directly face the sun, all of that heat will quickly raise the temperature inside of your home. You’ll want to have something in place to keep as much of that heat out as possible. Blinds, drapes, and shutters aren’t only decorative, they’re functional as well. Keeping them closed when the sun is shining will keep your home cooler so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard.
Fans Can Help
They can be advantageous whether the air conditioner is running or not. Fans are great for quickly blowing cool air inside the home. If you have ceiling fans, running them counterclockwise is best for the summer months. It will push air down into the room, creating a soft breeze that makes it seem cooler. You should also take advantage of the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms to move warmer air out of the house. On cooler evenings, you could turn off the air conditioner, open the windows, and use fans to pull in some fresh air. If you have a basement, you could also position fans to blow that cooler air upstairs.
Summer weather can be crazy. The mornings can start out chilly, quickly heating up as the day goes on. Wearing light layers of clothing in the summer is really the best way to go. That way, you can peel off a layer or put one back on as the heat of the day dictates. You’ll be more comfortable and won’t be as tempted to crank the air conditioner.
Plan Around the Heat
Structure your daily activities around the heat of the day. Think about the things that you do that are heating up the inside of your home. Run your dishwasher early in the day or late in the evening when it’s cooler. The laundry area also generates a lot of heat. Keep it ventilated and try to avoid doing laundry when it’s scorching hot outside. You could also plan your general cleaning tasks around cooler times of the day so that you aren’t sweaty and miserable.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
It’s the ideal way to reduce the amount of electricity that your air conditioner is using. Think about the different times of the day when you don’t need your home to be as cool. A programmable thermostat lets you schedule exactly when you want your air conditioner to run and how cool you want it to be. So, if you’re sleeping or not at home, your air conditioner won’t be running as often, saving you money on utility bills.
Have Your HVAC System Inspected
It’s a great system if it’s running efficiently. If it’s not running efficiently, it could be costing you a lot of extra money every month on your utility bills. Your furnace and central air conditioner will run for many years if they are maintained correctly. Without proper maintenance, they’ll not only waste energy, but they will also need to be repaired more often. And if those are emergency repairs, the cost can be even higher.
The best way to keep them running optimally is with an annual inspection. Typically, you’d want to have your air conditioner inspected before the summer heat hits. That way, you’ll know everything is working as it should be. You’ll easily recoup the minimal cost of an inspection with the reduction in your utility bills.
How To Find the Best HVAC Contractor
There are many HVAC contractors to choose from. So how do you know who to trust? Luckily, you have some resources at your disposal to find the right contractor to take care of your HVAC. Ask everyone that you know if they have any recommendations for a reputable HVAC company.
You can look online for companies near you. Read their reviews. How long have they been in business? There are even independent online review sites where you can get positive and negative information about different companies. You can also check a company’s reputation with the , Better Business Bureau. They not only keep track of any complaints against businesses, but they also monitor how responsive companies are when it comes to resolving complaints.