Real talk, Louisiana summers are brutal. It's five to six months of active battle against the sun, forcing many to wave the white flag and retreat indoors where it’s comfy. The price of cooling a home in the middle of summer can be enough to make anyone sweat if money is tight.
You can’t control the temperature outside, but there are a few things you can do to make your house cooler and keep air-conditioning costs at bay. Try these approaches to save money and beat the heat.
1. Keep your vents open and clean
Dust, pet hair and other dander can clog air circulation and force your system to work overtime. Replacing your home AC air filter every 3 months is an inexpensive way to reduce your energy bill.
2. Flip the switch
Remember when your parents scolded you as a kid about not turning lights off? They were totally right. Lighting can consume up to 25% of your monthly electricity bill. Stack that cost on top of your rising AC expenses and you’ve got a big ‘ol electricity bill coming your way. Simply turning off the lights when you leave the room can do wonders for your wallet.
3. Close curtains and doors
Keeping your curtains closed during the day keeps the inside of your home hidden from the sun’s glare, reducing heat by as much as 30%. Meanwhile, your AC is busy sharing its breeze with every room in the house, even the ones you’re not using. Close the doors to unused rooms to direct cool air to areas of the home where you and your family are gathering.
4. Avoid using big appliances during the day
Large, heat-emitting appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers can warm up a room quickly. Consider running your washing machine and dishwasher at night or in the early morning when it’s cooler outside.
5. Shield your house
Instead of throwing shade at the sun, try shading your home with landscape and awnings. Planting deciduous trees like cypress, crape myrtles and magnolias on the south and west sides of your home can block sunlight in the summer and help to keep your home warmer in the winter. Exterior screens and awnings also offer great protection against the burning sun.
Weather experts predict that the summer of 2019 will be cooler and rainier than usual, which will help lower energy bills across the South. Regardless, you’ll still be leaning on your AC a lot in the coming months. Buckle down and try these suggestions for a cooler, more affordable summer.
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