Cooling an entire residence throughout the muggy summer months can be a consistent drain on your finances. If your only recourse against relentless heat is cranking your air conditioner 24/7, your monthly utility bills are liable to cost you a small fortune. While dependable air conditioning is arguably the most effective cooling aid most homeowners have at their disposal, it’s far from the most budget-conscious. So, if you’ve grown tired of shelling out a small fortune to keep your home comfortably cool during the summer, put the following DIY tips to good use.
Invest in Reliable Ceiling Fans
Reliable ceiling fans should play an integral role in your summer cooling apparatus. For one thing, well-placed fans can serve to circulate cool air from your AC throughout your entire house. Secondly, ceiling fans can function as convenient cooling aids in their own right, particularly when their blades have been adjusted to turn counterclockwise.
Take Measures to Block Out Sunlight
Although sunlight can provide convenient natural lighting in certain areas of your home, it also stands to increase indoors temps, especially throughout the summer months. As such, you’d do well to take measures to minimize the amount of sunlight that’s able to find its way into your home during the sun’s peak hours. Fortunately, this is a fairly easy undertaking.
For starters, consider replacing your current window dressings with thermal curtains. Per their name, these curtains are composed of thick thermal materials, enabling to keep the amount of sunlight that finds its way inside to a bare minimum. As an added bonus, thermal curtains are adept at sealing in cool air from your central AC system, which can be a boon to your utility costs. Similarly, thermal curtains can help seal in warm air throughout the winter months while preventing cold air from entering your home.
Although thermal curtains are affordable on virtually any budget, you can always opt for blackout screens if you want to go even cheaper. Blackout screens shouldn’t run you more than $20 and can effortlessly be applied to windows. However, they don’t last nearly as long as thermal curtains, and once they’ve been removed from windows, they generally can’t be reattached.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Windows
Speaking of windows, you may want to consider upgrading the ones that are currently found throughout your home. Not only can switching to energy-efficient windows help keep your home cooler, it also stands to save you a considerable sum in utility costs. Unlike standard windows, energy-efficient windows are equipped with multiple panes, making it more difficult for air to pass through them. So, in addition to helping you cool off during the summer months, energy-efficient windows can help you stay nice and toasty throughout the winter.
When shopping around for energy-efficient windows, there’s a chance that you’ll be put off by the upfront cost – and there’s no denying that these windows generally come with higher price-tags than regular windows. Over time, however, energy-efficient windows can pay for themselves in the form of reduced heating and cooling costs.
Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
There are numerous reasons you should stop using traditional incandescent bulbs. Not only do they burn out much faster than their energy-efficient counterparts, they use more energy and give off a great deal more heat. Needless to say, these can prove detrimental to your summertime cooling efforts. So, if you’ve yet to make the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, there’s no time like the present to remedy this. As is the case with energy-efficient windows, these bulbs cost a little more upfront, but considering how much longer they last and how little energy they consume, the long-term savings you’ll enjoy should make up for the higher price.
Keeping a residence consistently cool throughout the summer months can do a real number on your finances, particularly if your first instinct is to go straight to the AC. Frankly, there’s little wonder as to why so many of us regard air conditioning as our foremost line of defense against summertime heat. Despite being fairly pricey, a good central AC system is able to cool homes effectively and efficiently. Still, while there’s nothing wrong with putting your air conditioning to good use, it shouldn’t be the only weapon in your home cooling arsenal.