Between blasting the AC, washing bathing suits on rotation and having the kids home, summer bills can really bring the heat. Stay cool with a few quick, easy and energy efficient fixes!
First things first, ensure your AC unit is in good working condition. Without thorough, routine maintenance, even an A+ AC’s performance will steadily decline while energy use creeps up. Clean or replace dirty, clogged filters that may be blocking airflow and check your evaporator coil. Dirt accumulates on the coil, also reducing airflow and ability to absorb heat. Purchase a “fin comb” and comb any bent aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils back into place. Finally, thread a stiff wire through the A/C drain channels. Any blockage in these channels will limit humidity reducing abilities, and risk discoloring walls or carpet.
Follow up with some “window shopping”. Did you know that approximately 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters the home to become heat? Invest in a few blackout curtain panels, awnings or insulated window film to cut down on both heat and expense. To further stretch your savings, simply plant some trees, shrubs or vines outside light-facing windows or draw standard blinds during peak sunshine hours.
For a fast and free fix, reverse the motor and operate your ceiling fan counterclockwise. When fan blades rotate in this direction a wind-chill effect is produced, subtly making you feel cooler. You’ll notice a slight breeze right away and the extra cold, hard cash when the energy bill comes due.
When it’s already 100 degrees outside, try to avoid the 400-degree oven. Give major kitchen appliances a break and consider “no-bake” dishes, or get some mileage out of your grill, slow cooker or microwave. Using a microwave as opposed to a stove or oven can cut down on cooking energy by as much as 80 percent!
Finally, freeze use of incandescent bulbs. Often considered the least energy efficient type of electric lighting, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat. By replacing your home's five most frequently used light fixtures with energy efficient bulbs, you can save $45 each year - that’s an easy $10 back in your pocket this summer alone!
Looking for a cool home this hot summer? Contact a local loan originator in the Motto Mortgage network who can help make your dream of owning your own home a reality.