It’s that time of year when even the strongest-willed give in and switch on their air conditioners. It’s hot and muggy outside, but if you keep that constant stream of air conditioning going, your bill is really going to add up.
To cool down in the summer heat without doing too much damage to your wallet, try these five tips:
1. Close the Blinds
If you live in a house or a ground-level apartment, you may already be closing your blinds during the day for security. Luckily, keeping curious eyes out of your living room also keeps some of the heat from the sun out of your home. You may also want to consider planting trees around your house. According to Family Handyman, “Shading blocks direct sunlight through the roof and windows, which is responsible for about half of the heat gain in your home.”
2. Keep the Filter Fresh
A fresh air filter is key to a hardworking and efficient HVAC unit. “Unchanged filters are often clogged with debris, slowing air flow to a trickle,” writes CNET’s Brian Bennett. “This causes your home to cool slowly and your AC to run longer and harder than usual.” Bennett recommends changing the filter at least every six months.
3. Change Your Sheets
Switch up your bed linens each season, so you don’t get into a stuffy bed during the summertime. A Mirror Online article says, “Keep away from the satin and silk and opt for the cooler linen and cotton sheets. Light-coloured bed linen made of light fabrics (take Egyptian cotton for example) are breathable so better to sleep in.”
4. Plot Your Path
Remove obstructions in your home to keep the cool air flowing when you’ve turned the air conditioning on. That means opening the doors and air vents throughout your home.
5. Abandon Your Oven
The Huffington Post said it best: “If it already feels like 100+ degrees in your home, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven.” Instead, try one of these no-cook dinners for hot summer nights, like tomato cucumber gazpacho or a crab salad sandwich.