Staying Cool for Less

From May through August, our electric bill used to jump up high on the chart due to cooling costs. Then, a couple of years ago, we applied some serious strategies to staying cool for less. The change was so dramatic that the electric company sent out a work to check our meter, since our energy usage was so much different than they were used to seeing in the summer.

Here are some of the changes that we made.

Tightening up the House

The major difference in our energy bill came when we sealed up the cracks and insulated our home. Not only did this keep us warmer in the winter for less, but it also had a major affect on our cooling costs. Since we only use window air conditioners, we were especially careful to make sure that they fit tight to the windows and were sealed in place as well. Having the right size and BTUs is important. Having air conditioners that are too large or too small will affect your energy efficiency.

Using the Odd Door

After getting tired of telling the kids to stop coming in and out of the house (it is summer, after all) and wasting the air conditioning, I got smart. I closed off the area of the house with the back door from the rest of the home. This area doesn’t get cooled, so opening that door a million times won’t affect the cooling costs as much.

Using the Coolest Part of the Home

To reduce the need to use the air conditioning at all, find the coolest area of your home and hang out there during the day. For us, it is our walk out basement. The basement is naturally a few degrees cooler than the rest of the home. Since 70 percent of our basement is finished, we can play and work there most of the time.

Using a Dehumidifier

Because a dehumidifier works to remove moisture from the room, it will help you with your cooling costs. The humidity is what really makes you uncomfortable. We found that running a dehumidifier didn’t have much impact on our electricity costs, but instead allowed us to set the thermostat a little higher and use our air conditioners less.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com

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