Friday, July 12, 2013

Frugal Friday: Ways to save money on cooling your home

How are you doing with this summer heat? Do you like it or does it make you a grouch? I know for myself I'm a big old grouch if I get too hot. Either that or I shut down and don't feel like doing anything. When my husband and I were first married we lived in a brick, top-floor apartment. And the summertime was HOT! During the same time the a/c in our car stopped working (and we didn't have the money to recharge it) and get this...our car windows stopped rolling down. Yeah in the middle of the summer. It was pretty miserable til we got them fixed. We had central air in our apartment but it was old and seemed like it cost a million bucks each time you even looked at it. So we hardly ever turned it on. We actually did just fine most of the time because we were students and were gone a good part of the day (in nice air conditioned buildings). But I remember a few horrifically hot and grouchy weekends. We finally agreed that we would use the central air on Sundays. We were both home most of the day and it really was the only way we could have peace from the grouchy witch (*cackle cackle*).

Well to make a long story short, we survived those days. Phew. Not that we're never hot and grouchy now, but we've learned some stuff since then. And our house stays cool most of the time without costing us a million bucks. Today I'm going to share some things we've learned about how to save money and stay cool.

5 Ways to Save Money on Cooling Your Home
  1. Use Windows to Your Advantage - This trick will only work as long as the temperature outside drops to below about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature starts to drop, open the windows. Usually this is in the later evening and early morning. Then make sure to close them before the temperature outside starts warming up. We like to stick a inexpensive fan in the windows and blow the cool air in. That always helps to cool off the house even better.
  2. Plant trees around your house to shade - Obviously this isn't a short-term solution or a solution if you're renting like we were back in the day. But if you're a home owner or planning to buy in the future, it's something to consider. Shade trees planted around your home, will significantly reduce your cooling costs. Here's some information that I found helpful if you're wondering specifically the best places to plant the trees. Our current home has mature shade trees and we've noticed a huge difference between how cool our home stays and others in the area that don't have the shade trees. 
  3. Control the A/C or Central Air - Whenever possible, use ceiling fans and other inexpensive fans instead of a/c or central air. They are a lot cheaper to run and will help you keep your cooling costs down significantly.
  4. Avoid Generating Internal Heat as Much as Possible - Most people probably already realize that using the oven during the heat of the day makes for a pretty miserable kitchen. But did you know that your dishwasher, washer and dryer, along with other large appliances also give off a significant amount of heat when they're in use? Avoiding those as much as possible or only using them during the cooler parts of the day can help you save money on cooling your home.
  5. Batch Cooking - If you're heating up the house anyway by turning on the oven, make use of that energy by cooking several different things at the same time or make extra and freeze it for later. This will save you from having to turn on your oven as much in the summer and keep your home cooler.
Now it's your turn. Do you have any ideas for how to save money on cooling your home? Please share. Happy Frugal Friday. Stay cool! 

1 comment:

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