What’s one of the most significant expenses people face each year? That’s right—heating and cooling costs. You may see your electricity bill rise by $100 or more per month to keep your home cool. For many, that’s simply not an option. Of course, some of us can’t take the heat.
Living in the Southeast means it’s not only hot, but the humidity is dreadful. Then there’s the fact that your electricity bill can skyrocket. It’s so much easier and more affordable to keep your home warm than cool (just one of the many reasons I love winter). However, there are ways to keep your home cool on a budget. Let’s take a closer look.
How can I keep my home cool without AC?
Running an air conditioner can undoubtedly be expensive. Replacing a broken central air unit can also be outrageous. So, what do you do? A couple of excellent tips below will help with or without AC.
Remember that maintaining the cooler temperature you have early in the day is essential. This means blocking the heat and sun by closing your blinds and curtains. If you can create a cross breeze in your living space, that will also be beneficial. If you have ceiling fans, make sure they run counterclockwise to keep you cool.
Another simple tip is to keep your lights off. Lights in your home can put off heat, and having several on can raise the temperature in the room.
5 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool
Install Thermal Curtains
Thermal curtains are a must, especially if you have rooms that are hit by the sun in the evening. It can feel like sitting in an oven if you’re in front of our picture window in the weeks before the trees have filled out. Thermal curtains work to keep the hot air out. If you like the light from the sun, open the curtains on the side of the room that isn’t getting direct sunlight.
This way, you get natural light without all the heat. Thermal curtains come in various colors and patterns and can be found everywhere, from Family Dollar to Walmart.
Use the Slow Cooker
Sadly, I’m the type that loves all foods all year round. I’m not strictly a salad or cold-meal girl in the summer months. This is why I use the slow cooker a lot. I’m able to make comfort food without heating the entire house. I don’t have to use more energy to keep the house cool. Best of all, slow cookers use less energy than your oven.
Choose a Comfortable Temperature and Stick to It
You may be tempted to adjust your thermostat when you’re at work. However, your home’s cooling system will have to work harder to bring the temperature back to your desired setting once you get home.
Instead, choose a temperature you’re comfortable with and stick to it. Your cooling system will use much less energy to maintain that temperature.
Close Off Unused Rooms
We all have rooms that go unused for whatever reason. Instead of spending the money to cool those rooms, close the vents and doors of those rooms. There’s no sense in cooling these rooms when they’re not in use. If you find that you only use a couple of rooms for most of your daily activities, consider installing ductless units where needed.
Place a Tray of Ice in Front of a Fan
Before the days of air conditioning, people placed trays of ice in front of a fan. The fan would send cool air blowing your way as the ice melted. This is a lot cheaper than running your air conditioner. But, if you live somewhere with a scorcher climate, you could use lots of ice.
What’s your favorite way to keep your home cool during the warm months? Leave a comment below.