Maintaining Interior Temperatures To Save Money This Summer

It’s hot, and the world seems only to be getting hotter. While people revel in the delights of air conditioning in the hotter months of the year, they often overlook the expense of constantly running their HVAC and the potential drain on the power grid.

No one is trying to tell you to shut off your AC this summer. As senior citizens, maintaining a comfortable climate is essential to health and well-being. However, if you want to save some money and help reduce the pull on the country’s electrical grid, there are several ways to do so.

1. Install Thermostats Away From Appliances or Heat Sources

When installing a thermostat, the best place is a central position in the home away from external heat sources. When you install a thermostat near a kitchen, television, lamp, or other appliance or device, you will rarely experience an accurate reading of the temperature in your home. The thermostat will continuously communicate your house is warmer than it is, leading to the HVAC system turning on more frequently, costing you more money.

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2. Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat is often more controllable than a standard model. It likely has a phone app, allowing the homeowner more options for customization. For example, a smart thermostat will allow a homeowner to program specific times to cool or warm the house. If you are away for the day or on vacation for several weeks, you can program the device to keep your house warmer, rather than kicking the AC on when you won’t be home to enjoy it. The beauty is, you can also program it to cool the house off before you get home.

The temperature adjustments are not only for vacations. You can use the adjustments for any planned or scheduled outings or work schedules. Once it is set, you don’t have to worry about it again.

3. Stop Cooking Inside

When the summer is here, cook outdoors as much as possible. By cooking on the grill instead of in your kitchen, you keep the heat outside. It is not uncommon for cooking in the kitchen to warm up your house. While that warmth is welcome in the winter months, it only forces your HVAC system into overdrive in the summer.

With foil packet meals, you can cook everything from breakfast to dinner outside, ensuring your home stays at a consistent temperature throughout the day. Allow yourself to be adventurous with meal prep this summer and find a passion for cooking on the grill.

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4. Seal the House and Install Window Coverings

Poor seals and natural light are the enemies of air conditioning expenses. If the weather stripping around doors and windows is inadequate, all the cool air being pumped through your vents is going to the outside. Additionally, while natural light is lovely, too much direct sunlight will increase the temperature inside your home, causing the HVAC system to kick on more than necessary. Covering your windows with blackout curtains and ensuring all doors and windows are correctly sealed helps manage the home's temperature, saving you money on your next utility bill.

There is no shame in using your AC this summer, but when you do, make sure you are doing everything you can to save money and control the temperature inside your house. Do you have any other AC tips? Leave a comment below to keep the conversation going.

Gay - July 13, 2021

I only cook briefly and almost exclusively on stove top.
Since I really can not be in summer’s solar intensity, and since grill adds to ambient temp,
I will not use grill when ambient temp is much above 70, and only in shade or early in morning.
Throughout each day I stagger and juggle which of the 4 window AC’s seem to be most useful depending on where and what angle the sun is at, along with putting up shades and curtains to coincide with whatever room the sun is shining into.
I usually have all 4 fans on all day, but vary the speeds.
Also I run 2 dehumidifiers, depending mostly on dew points, but also on ambient temp, as has been the case recently when not warm enuf for AC’s but not cool enuf for furnace.
During a heat wave, I have the highest (11, 500) BTU AC on “economy”.
The living room AC is the last to be used (and Only during heat wave) since it’s in the room facing east.
I lie to think I”m able to sustain a microclimate in the midst of global warming.

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