How to Lower Temperatures at Home with a Lower Cost
Saving money on utility costs in the summer can be difficult, particularly when temperatures rise beyond our comfort levels. Fortunately, here at MSU Federal Credit Union we’ve got some strategies to keep you cool without breaking your budget!
1. Think of your thermostat
If you rely on air conditioning to stay cool, but want to keep your costs low, think about what temperature you have your thermostat set to. Reducing the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures by setting your thermostat as high as you can comfortably stand will keep your air conditioner from working harder than it needs to. According to energy.gov, if you use air conditioning and also have a ceiling fan, using them together will allow you to raise the thermostat setting by about 4° without a noticeable difference in comfort.
2. A fan-tastic idea
Fans can cool you and your home by circulating air and naturally creating a wind chill effect. If you don’t have air conditioning, (or are trying to avoid using it) creating a cross-breeze through your home in the evening and at night can help in the abatement of unwanted warmth. To benefit most from this technique, open windows at opposite ends of your home. Position a fan to blow the warmer daytime air out of one of these windows, and it will pull in the cooler night air through the other. If you are using fans to save on cooling costs, remember this piece of advice: fans cool people, not rooms. Make sure you turn fans off when leaving a room to avoid using excess electricity.
3. The final curtain
You might think that blackout or thermal curtains are solely for retaining heat in the winter months, but the same properties that prevent heat loss in colder weather can reflect heat in warmer weather! A white or lighter-colored backing will reflect light better than darker colors, helping to keep the temperature in your home from increasing.
4. Don’t get heated…
Many of the appliances in your home are specifically designed to create heat, but you can prevent them from raising the temperature in your home any more than absolutely necessary.
Obvious sources of heat are your stove, oven, and microwave. Cooking outdoors is fun and delicious, and it’s an easy way to maintain cooler temperatures indoors!
Your washer, dryer, and dishwasher also all generate heat when operating normally, but you can avoid unintentionally creating more by running them less often. Only washing full loads of laundry or dishes and letting them air dry will help mitigate heat production.
Other culprits in your home that are warming things up without you knowing are computers, televisions, entertainment centers, and even lights! Making use of natural light and finding a good book can make the summer months not only more bearable, but entertaining as well!
5. Keep your cool!
Have you noticed that the higher the humidity, the more unbearable it feels? That’s because moist air holds heat! A dehumidifier can wick away excess humidity in your home, effectively reducing excess heat.
In addition to keeping your groceries and leftovers preserved at an appropriate temperature, your refrigerator can help to keep you preserved at an appropriate temperature as well! Keep a jug or carafe of water in the fridge, and you’ll have a cool, refreshing beverage whenever you want.
If you have some free space in your fridge, you can keep a washcloth or bedsheets cool. (Bear in mind that the crisper drawers are designed to maintain a certain level of moisture.) Applying the chilled washcloth to your body’s cooling spots (like your neck and wrists versus your forehead) can help lower your body temperature, and cooled bedsheets can help you stay cool through the night!