Keeping Cool For Less

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We pay for heat in the winter and then we pay for air conditioning in the summer. If only there was a way to bottle up the opposite temperature so that we could use it later in the year.

As the summer heat picks up people are looking for ways to keep cool without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips:

Programmable thermostats

Using air conditioning when no one is home or at night, when the temperature drops, is a poor financial decision. Use a programmable thermostat to adjust your air conditioner’s settings automatically so that you get a nice cool down when you wake up and when you get home from work.

Don't get carried away with AC, otherwise the energy bills at the end of the month will get your blood boiling.

Ceiling fans

This one appliance alone can make a room in your home feel 6 or 7 degrees cooler.

The initial investment might be slightly more than a floor fan but if you plan to live in your home for a while it can save you a lot of money.

Use your air conditioning properly

If you are going to use air conditioning then you should use it in an efficient manner. If you put televisions, lamps, and other appliances (that generate heat) near to your air conditioner's thermostat you can expect it be working inefficiently.

You'll also be defeating the purpose of cooling your house if your appliances are competing against each other for temperature levels... so turn off those bulky lamps and open the windows!

A little shade

Stop being a wuss and get outside. For some people, this can be one of the tougher solutions but it is an important one to mention.

Instead of hiding in the house all day, get outside and find a nice tree to sit under. If you have to do some mowing or garden work then make sure you do it in the morning or in the evening.

These chores can be tough in the middle of the hot afternoon but sometimes you don't have the choice.

Don't let the cold air escape

In hotter climates it is hard to avoid using an air conditioner. You're probably paying a lot to have these great creature comforts so don't let that cool air just float away from your home.

Make sure that your weather stripping and caulking is done properly. You can also check for holes in your air conditioning ducts. If need be, you should add extra insulation around the ducts that are in crawl spaces, attics, and in your garage.

Those are just a few ways to cool down and save money on air conditioning costs - it might take a bit more effort but you can keep cool without spending a lot.

Kerry Foster is a freelance writer. He contributes to a number of websites with articles about frugal living and financial topics. One of the websites he writes for is RRSP Calculator

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