The Builder's Blog

Explore the newest home design trends, read about new homes, and watch videos to learn about the building process.

Tips to Beat the Heat While Keeping AC Costs Down

Summer is coming, and so is the heat. As temperatures increase, air conditioners everywhere turn on. As a result, AC and electricity bills become more expensive. We’ve compiled a list of small changes you can make to stay cool this summer without breaking the bank.

Cover Your Windows

Believe it or not, a large percentage of a home’s cooling and heating energy is lost through the windows. To combat this, you can purchase window attachments. In addition to helping control your home temperature, window attachments and coverings will improve your comfort, reduce glare, save energy, and provide additional privacy. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are a number of available options for both interior and exterior window attachments. Some interior attachments include: blinds, cellular shades, pleated shades, roman shades, roller shades, storm windows, and shutters. Some exterior options include: film for the glass, exterior shades, shutters, awnings, solar screens, and storm windows.

Keep an Eye on the Thermostat

This one seems obvious, but depending on your living situation, you may need to have a conversation with others in your home to ensure that everyone is on the same page about thermostat usage. Most importantly, you should keep your thermostat at the highest (comfortable) temperature. For most, this is around 78 degrees. If you have a programmed or smart thermostat, you can schedule certain times throughout the day that you want the temperature to be adjusted. To lower your overall bill, you should follow this basic rule of thumb: when you are away from home, keep the temperature higher. When you are home, set the temperature to a more comfortable number. This approach is especially helpful if you are someone who is not home for 8-10 hours of the day. Having a programmed or smart thermostat will help you lower your AC costs and maintain comfort while you are home.

Avoid Using the Stove and Oven

Summer is the perfect time to move the cooking outside. It’s time to break out the BBQ and summer salads. When you use major appliances such as the oven and stove, your AC system is forced to work harder to keep the air cooler; this results in a higher bill. If you can’t break away from your oven, keep the usage to the evening when the temperatures outside naturally cool down. After all, the greater the temperature difference between outdoors and indoors, the more your AC has to work, resulting in higher costs.

Spend Time Downstairs

Lastly, think back to your high school physics class. Remember your teacher telling you that heat rises? Keep this in mind as you plan your summer hangout spot. On hot days, rather than decreasing the indoor temperature, camp out in the basement or a lower level of your home where the air is naturally cooler. If your bedroom or office is upstairs, consider installing ceiling fans or purchasing stand-alone fans. Fans will circulate air throughout your living space and create a natural draft. In the summer, set the ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise. Incorporating ceiling fans into your home design can lower your thermostat setting by up to four degrees.

This summer, save money on your AC and electricity bills by following one or many of the suggested tips.

If you are interested in home customization, call Paul Gray Homes at 316-990-0000 to speak to an expert.