How to Give Your A/C a Break This Summer
Updated May 2022
Let’s face it, the summer months in North Carolina can be brutal, with temperatures rising into the high nineties, making for uncomfortable days and sleepless nights. It’s the kind of heat that has most of us retreating to the indoors to stay cool, with the thermostat turned way down. By keeping your A/C cranked up, though, you run the risk of a super-high electric bill.
So, how do you stay cool during the summer months without overusing your air conditioning unit? Keep reading for eight easy ways to keep your house cool and lower your electric bill this summer.
Get Blackout Shades
Especially in rooms that get a lot of late afternoon sun, it’s a good idea to invest in window coverings that will block the hottest of the sun’s rays. You just have to remember to keep them closed during the day!
Reset Your Ceiling Fan
For the summer months, be sure your ceiling fans are set counter-clockwise, so that they are pushing cool air down into the room. And keep those fans running during the hottest part of the day to cool you down.
Avoid the Oven
Using the oven on hot days will really heat up your home, causing your A/C to kick into overtime. On especially hot days, plan to grill out or make simple meals that don’t require cooking with heat, like sandwiches or salads. If you really need to bake, do it after the sun goes down!
Shut Vents in Unused Rooms
Are there rooms in your home that go unused unless you have guests? If so, close the vents to those rooms and shut the doors, too. This makes less space for your A/C to cover, helping it to more efficiently cool the rest of your house.
Insulate Your Attic
Just like insulating your basement helps keep your house cozy in the winter, attic insulation will really help you out in the summer months. If your attic isn’t insulated, invest in getting it insulated as soon as possible. Insulation keeps your attic cool, preventing it from heating up and, in turn, raising the temperature of the rest of the house.
Install an Attic Fan
If you don’t have an attic exhaust fan, have one installed. Or, be sure the attic fan you currently have is working properly. This type of fan will prevent heat from building up in the attic and rafters of your home. It may also help to run the kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during the hottest part of the day.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
While many people have phased them out of use, the United States still has not banned the use of incandescent light bulbs. If you’re still using these light bulbs in your home, try replacing them with modern, energy-efficient bulbs that produce less heat.
Seal Gaps in Windows & Exterior Doors
Anywhere there’s a gap to the outdoors, cool air will escape and hot air will come in—not good! When you’re running your HVAC, you want your home to be well-sealed. Once you’ve identified areas where air could be leaking out, use caulk or weather stripping to stop drafts.
Give Your A/C Some TLC
Finally, if you want to save money while cooling your home, you need to make sure your HVAC is running as efficiently as possible. In the spring months—before you give your air conditioning a real workout—give your A/C a thorough check-up.
To all of our customers in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Pittsboro, Durham, and beyond—have fun this summer, and stay cool!