This has already proven to be an extraordinarily hot summer after an extraordinarily cold winter. Other than spending a fortune running your central air conditioner, here are a few tips to help keep your home and your attitude cool!

  • Landscape with shade trees around your home and around your outdoor patio or deck. There are numerous species of trees that don’t take 20 years to grow above your home. Before taking the word of the professional that you’re thinking of hiring, do some online research with regard to your location and plant options. It may be more cost effective to choose a large leafy tree to give great shade plus add shrubbery around your home’s perimeter to help maintain your home’s internal temperature.
  • Window treatments have come a long way! You may pay a little more up front for blinds or draperies that block the sun at the height of the day’s heat but the money you’ll save on your electric bill will compensate sooner than later!
  • According to the US Dept of Energy, by raising your thermostat to run less often while you’re gone during the day (they recommend around 78 degrees) you can save as much as 10% on your power bill. Using a programmable thermostat is very cost effective!
  • Go retro….run some fans. You can cool yourself off in an area you’re working/sitting in with an oscillating fan while again keeping your thermostat from kicking on so often.
  • Make sure and change the direction of your ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise in the summer. (remember to change it back to clockwise in the winter!)
  • Have a basement? Even if it’s not officially finished create an area for yourself with a rug, chair, tv or a place to work out. The basement can be a full 15 degrees cooler than your main or upper levels. You can even leave a vent open slightly down there to allow the a/c to cool it down and then it will stay that way for an extended period of time.
  • Instead of turning on your stove or oven, use a countertop oven (ie:Breville mini smart oven) or cook outside on your grill.
  • This could be an expensive tip but if your a/c system is old, the money you’ll save by replacing it with a new efficient model will pay for itself within a couple of summers.