After spending several summers in Texas, a girl learns how to keep cool (without breaking the bank!). Let’s face it. Cranking up the air conditioner can keep you cool but the costly electric bill can leave your wallet empty. These helpful hints can keep the electric bill manageable and keep us cool in the summer.
Become a “fan” of the fan: Ceiling and electric fans use less energy than the air conditioner which is better for your electric bill. So, before you touch the thermostats, turn on the fan. Keeping the shades drawn can keep out unwanted heat. Be sure air vents are clear from furniture and other obstacles that could block the air flow. And don’t forget about the fireplace flue. Close it so you don’t lose the cool air you are paying for. Another tip: Use the bathroom fan/vent after showers to pull the humid air out of the house.
Take a break from the kitchen: Eating light cool meals during the heat of summer can keep you feeling relaxed and cool. Running the oven can really heat up the house. Use indoor grills, crock pots and the microwave when you can. Another interesting tip: Believe it or not eating spicy foods can help cool you down (that’s what they say).
Hit the switch: To keep the electric usage to a minimum hit the power switch. TV’s and computers can generate a lot of heat so if you can turn them off, do so. When you’re not in a room turn off the lights and fans and close the door -no need to cool a room that isn’t being used. Get yearly maintenance checks on your air conditioner and change the filters regularly to prevent any major problems from occurring. Running things like the dish washer and the washing machine after the sun goes down can keep the house cooler in the hottest part of the day. Or you could line dry clothes when you want to keep from running the dryer at all!
Use someone else’s AC: During the hottest part of the day set the thermostat a little higher and head out for awhile. There are lots of cool places to go for free or minimal money. For example, the library or a local coffee shop — grab a book or a late afternoon snack. The dollar theatre or local museums can be cheap getaways, too. Walking at the mall – free exercise in the air conditioned air and you may find a good sales rack!
The fact is summer is hot. Establishing creative ways to save money can take some work, but the benefit is worth it. Keeping the electric bill to a minimum can keep your blood pressure down and that will help you keep cool on the inside!