Tips For Cooling Your Home Without Heating Your Budget

Don’t sweat it out this summer!

This blog post is sponsored by ADT.

The temperature’s soaring and so are your utility bills. Looks like summer is making you break into a sweat in more ways than one! But don’t lose your cool because here are some ways to you can keep your home cool without breaking the bank. And bonus! You’d be playing your part in saving the environment too!

Figure out the problem areas. Get an energy assessment of your home. The assessment will tell you how efficient your cooling system is. Do you have air leaks? An under-insulated attic? These are the spaces in your home that are wasting energy. And an assessment can tell you that too. Your utility company might offer free or low-cost assessments. But for all you DIYers, there’s an online tool here.

Efficiency is the name of the game. Look out for the Energy Guide on your refrigerator and AC. This should give you an idea about their energy consumption and the lower the better. Also, appliances marked with an Energy Star label meet certain criteria for efficiency set by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Seal and insulate. Seal air leaks around windows, doors and parts of the walls from where pipes and wires come through. Check ducts for holes and gaps where sections have separated and air may be leaking. You can seal some of them yourself!

Keep everything ship-shape.  Bump up your thermostat before going out, there’s no reason to have full cooling when you’re not there to enjoy it! Make sure that the filter of your AC is clean by checking it regularly.

Look for offers! Ask your local utility about cash rebates, low-interest loans, tax breaks, or other incentives for buying energy efficient products, and how you can qualify.

Long term plans. Installing new, energy-efficient windows might be expensive initially, but works very well in the long run. They will reduce the air-leaks in your home and protect you and your furniture from harmful UV rays. And, even better, the value of your property will increase too!

So, make your home green and save money and the environment this summer!

For more safety and security tips, visit ADT's Home Security Source website. Check out ADT on Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube for more information.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Charles August 24, 2012 at 02:56 AM
This article left out several more practical things: Let in cool early morning air to pre cool your home. Plant deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home Use ceiling fans Consider a whole house fan Consider an attic fan Strategically close blinds to keep afternoon and morning sun out of your home Keep you system's air filters new and clean. The inexpensive filters from Home Depot or Lowes are fine if changed frequently. Use cooler and efficient CFL light bulbs. Instead of cooling your 3000 sqft home, leave the windows open, wear shorts, take a cold shower and drink ice water and use fans.
GreenInOC August 24, 2012 at 06:41 AM
@Charles - great additions! I've not used a/c for the last 4 years in spite having high ceilings, all living space on the 2nd floor, huge windows facing west and no cross breeze! Pointing a fan at the ceilings to dissipate the hot air is a great addition to ceiling fans. Opening a door/window and pointing a fan straight out so that it's pulling the hot air to push outside and then placing a fan on the other side of the room (in addition to the ceiling fans), to keep a cool breeze going. On the hottest days I had an industrial fan pointing up to the ceiling, a fan at a door threshold pointing outside, a fan placed near the coolest area of the house and pointing out into the area I was in as well as all ceiling fans going. It wasn't a/c equivalent but I lived! Open your doors and windows first thing in the morning to take advantage of the cool air.


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