With the current temperature hitting 90 degrees and not even officially Summer yet, your air conditioner will be getting a workout for a good 4 months or more here in Maryland. That'll mean your electric meter will be spinning like a record player (geez did I just age myself - meters don't spin anymore and the youngsters probably don't know what a record player is?). So you may be looking for a few reminders on how to keep cool without having the cooling system running constantly.
Here are a few tips for you to do to keep those BGE bills down a bit:
- Block out the sun's rays by closing your drapes; preferably room darkening drapes. Lighting is much less expensive than cooling a room.
- Install window film to block or reflect the sun when you still want to look out the window.
- Install and use ceiling fans. While they don't actually lower the temperature, the breeze makes you feel cooler like the Winter wind chill factor. Make sure they spin counter clockwise.
- Install an attic fan to reduce the radiating heat that comes from your roof.
- Turn on your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to pull hot air out of the higher areas of the rooms. Heat rises of course...
- Make sure your home is insulated and draft free, just like is needed in the Winter. Hot air from the outside can creep in and cool air can leak out.
- Avoid using the oven to cook your meals. Use your outdoor gas grill whenever possible.
- Hang your clothes out to dry if you have the capability. If not, dry them at night.
- Get a dehumidifier and run it whenever the humidity is over 60%. A dry heat is much more tolerable...
- Plant shade trees and shrubbery on the South and West sides of your home. In the Winter the leaves will be gone and you'll get the benefits of the sun for warmth.
- Replace your hot incandescent light bulbs will cooler and energy efficient LEDs.
Stay cool, people!