Thursday, August 3, 2006

Keeping Your House Cooler (and Cutting Your Electric Bill)

It's another 90+ degree day in the Unknown neighborhood. To keep from heatstroking myself, I took my 16 mile bike ride at 10:30, when it was only 85 out (of course, it was over 90 within a half hour of when I started). Even so, the Unknown Wife said when I finished, my face was about as flushed as she can remember seeing it.

The Unknown House has a more efficient air conditioning system than our old one, and better insulation. But I still dread seeing what our electric bill will be this month. Along those lines, MSN Money has a nice piece titled "25 Cheap Ways To Keep Your House Cooler". Here are some of the more easily implemented ones:
  • Open windows and use portable or ceiling fans instead of operating your air conditioner. Even mild air movement of 1 mph can make you feel three or four degrees cooler.
  • Use a fan with your window air conditioner to spread the cool air through your home.
  • Without blocking air flow, shade your outside compressor.
  • Change air filters monthly during the summer.
  • Don't place lamps or TVs near your air conditioning thermostat. The heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer.
  • Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents -- they produce the same light but use a fifth the energy and heat
  • Air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
  • Make sure the caulking/weatherstripping around your windows is in good shape
  • Add insulation around air conditioning ducts when they are located in unconditioned spaces such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages; do the same for whole-house fans where they open to the exterior or to the attic.

The article has many, many more good hints. Read the whole thing here.

HT: Consumerism Commentary

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