Right now its the middle of summer and if you are like me you have seen your gas bill start to drop to the bare minimum but that savings is now being applied to your electric bill to run your air conditioner.
Heating and Air Conditioning seems to be the largest single utility in our home after the Cable TV bill which we are working to get rid of with our new Antenna and Streaming Setup. Between your Natural Gas and Electric bill you are most likely paying well over $100 and may be paying over $200 or even $300 a month depending on your location, your individual home and your needs.
If you have children or are retired then the home isn’t vacant for 6 to 9 hours a day so you can turn the services off and save money. Overnight may allow some savings but that will depend again on your home and situation.
During the spring I have found its in my best interest to keep our windows closed to reduce the amount of pollen that enters. Getting sick when flowers are blooming and trees are sprouting leaves is just no fun so until about the end of May in our area the windows only open after a rain shower so most of the pollen isn’t in the air.
Right now we are having a few cooler days and overnight temps are falling into the low 60’s so for a few hours while I work at night I open one window on each side of the house and install a large box fan that has a very strong motor in it. As I am writing this the temperature in the house has fallen 4 degrees and could drop another few before I close up for the night.
The idea is to cool the house well overnight and then when the sun comes up it will take longer for the furniture, walls just basically everything in the house to warm up. If I only used the air conditioner to drop the temperature to say 75 which would be pretty low for me then tomorrow I would be starting off with a house that is much warmer. It will get hotter quicker and the Air will come on. With the windows open tonight I hope to drop the temperature down to about 70 or less. I would never attempt to run the Air to get it that cool in here because it would be running all night.
Another thing I do is whatever side of the home has direct sunlight shining on it .. southeast in the morning southwest in the afternoon, west in the evening.. then I close those blinds and curtains if I can. This will keep some of the sun from radiating into the home and making it warmer.
I get a very decent gain in the winter from sun and can normally go without the heater coming on if the temperature outside is over 45 during the day. I will do the exact opposite in the winter by opening the blinds to allow the sun in.
If you have storm windows its good to use them in both summer and winter in rooms that are not used. They offer a small amount of insulation over a standard window and possibly will keep your home cooler in the summer but definitely will keep the wind out in the winter. Storm doors are also great and you don’t have to purchase the most expensive ones to find a benefit. What you are doing is just reducing air flow and also building a buffer of air between the two doors that will act like insulation.
Insulation in your attic or walls works like that. Its not actually the fiberglass or rockwool its the air in that material that causes the insulating factor. Thats why insulation should never be compacted or it loses its insulating factor.
Those are just a few things that you can do to reduce your bills a bit. I just took a look at the thermometer and its down to 70F now from 77F so in a couple minutes I will shut the fan down and close up the house. It should provide a nice cool night to sleep and a nice cool morning and early afternoon.
So, whenever you see the temperature is cooler outside its in your benefit to use that to your advantage. And as a benefit the house will smell nicer.
In other how tos we will cover planting trees, installing insulation and other things that can keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.