Guest Post by Kyle James
Summer is supposedly over, but it’s going to be over 100 degrees here in northern California this week. With that in mind, it is not to late to try and lower your cooling bill this year. When our neighbors hear how low our electric bill is in the summer, they are amazed and want to know our secrets. How I do it is not rocket science. Here are my five favorite tips that will help you lower your bill as well.
Plant a Tree – If your house is like mine, you have a couple windows which take the brunt of the afternoon sun. Several years ago I planted Crape Myrtle trees outside of those windows and now the sun is completely blocked all summer long. Trees not only look nice but the shade they provide is fantastic. Trees that drop their leaves in the fall are best as they’ll let sun into those windows in the winter helping to heat those rooms.
Keep the Sun Out – Got curtains? Be diligent about keeping your curtains or blinds closed on windows when the sun is shining in, especially in the morning. This sounds obvious and really only takes some consistency for it to be effective. If I don’t do this in our family room and kitchen in the morning, it would be quickly be 95 degrees and the kids would be sweating at the breakfast table. Not good.
Programmable Thermostat – A programmable thermostat is a fantastic way to keep your home at a controlled temperature. The most effective way to use it is to keep your home warmer when you are at work and have it automatically lower the temperature before you get home. When it comes to energy efficiency, the absolute worst thing you can do is have the A/C off all day then turn it on when you get home and have your unit lower the inside temperature by up to 10 degrees. You will end up using a lot more electricity cooling the home this way. Instead, keep your programmable thermostat at 82 while you are at work, for example, then have it go to 79 or 78 degrees right before you get home.
Whole House Fan – If you live where the humidity is not unbearable, then a whole house fan is a must. Ours is located in the hallway ceiling and it works by pulling in the cool air at night and early in the morning. You just open a few windows, turn it on, and enjoy the free air conditioner. We use it daily to cool the home and it is the single biggest reason our electricity bill stays so low. You can get a new whole house fan for a couple hundred bucks and if you are handy you can easily install it yourself.
Maintain your A/C – Keep your unit in good running order and it will use a lot less electricity. Have it tuned up every spring or learn to do it yourself. Just Google “A/C tune-up” and you can easily learn to do it yourself. It is amazing how a little elbow grease can make your cooling unit last a lot longer and stay much more energy efficient.
I hope you found these tips useful, if you can implement just a couple of these tips you will definitely lower your electric bill. Stay cool!
About The Author: Kyle James owns and operate a website called Rather-Be-Shopping.com which lists and organizes online coupons and hot deals for over 700 stores, organized in 25 shopping categories.
Are you interested in guest posting on Family Friendly Frugality? Please email me heather @ familyfriendlyfrugality.com. I’m looking for anything in the family friendly/frugal niche, but specifically how-to’s, DIY posts and RECIPES! Must be original content not posted elsewhere.