At the start of every summer, as the temperature rises, my husband and I seem to have the same discussion… when to turn on the air conditioning!
This is never an easy discussion (okay! read: argument!) as this is the man who wears shorts and t-shirts around the house when it’s 19 degrees outside in the dead of winter.
I prefer the open windows and doors, and want to breathe the fresh air. To this my husband responds “Babe, it ceases to be fresh as soon as it’s 85 degrees with 70% humidity!” Well, it’s still fresh but I guess it does cease to be RE-freshing!
Just like heating your house in the winter and whether you do or don’t choose to crank the AC, there are ways to keep your house cooler, stop some of the cool air loss and use less energy in the process:
- Close blinds or curtains in various windows throughout the day to prevent the sun shining in. If it’s coming in, so is the heat.
- Use ceiling fans. They circulate the cool air and don’t use a lot of energy.
- Program your thermostat. No need to keep it blasting in the evening or when you aren’t even home.
- When it’s cool outside at night, shut off the air, open the windows and take advantage.
- 74 degrees is all you need. This is a bearable temperature, and if you can tolerate it higher, do it! Each degree saves 3-4% on your cooling/energy expenses.
- Don’t worry about unused rooms. Close the windows, doors and vents in these rooms, and block the bottom of the door if they aren’t frequently occupied.
- Run appliances at night. This includes dryers & dishwashers that give off heat. Avoid using your oven… give it a rest and grill instead! And if you do use the stovetop, be sure to use the exhaust fan to take away the heat.
- Turn off unneeded lights, TVs, computers, etc. when you aren’t using them. They all generate heat too.
- Keep heat generating appliances away from the thermostat (TVs, lamps, etc.). They’ll make the thermostat think it’s hotter than it really is.
- Don’t chop down trees that shade your house. They simply keep a house cooler. And even plant strategically. Shaded AC units run more efficiently, but just be sure not to block the airflow.
I do try to take my own advice. It’s not always easy (living with my husband who compensates by turning up the ceiling fans to “jet speed”) but it’s a compromise we always seem to manage when it all “boils down”!