Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Just when we think we can start wearing sweaters and scarves, and drinking hot coco in front of the fireplace, Southern California’s infamous autumn heatwave strikes once again. For one week, the heat locks us inside our homes and prevents us from doing anything active during the day. The air conditioning is constantly running, giving us some hefty electricity bills. That money is best spent elsewhere (remember that Christmas is right around the corner!) Here are some tips for saving money during the heatwave:
- Manage your thermostat: Turning your house into an ice box seems very appealing. Who doesn’t like coming back to a cool home after walking in the scorching heat? However, it doesn’t need to be running all the time. Managing your thermostat will still keep your house cool, and it prevents your house from becoming too hot. Set your temperature as high as you would like without it becoming unbearable. It will automatically turn on when your house surpasses your set temperature. Even when you’re not home, turn off your air conditioning. It doesn’t need to be running when no ones home. It’s a waste of money and energy.
- Use a fan: Sometimes you don’t need to go the whole nine yards and turn on the air conditioning. For times you want to cool down by a bit, use a fan. Using a fan will save you a lot of money since it’s not cooling down the whole house. You can adjust the speed of the fan to your personal preference too.
- Make use of those blinds: Natural light is a very beautiful thing. It’s a major factor that goes into home buying. Keeping your windows uncovered will turn your house into a sauna. Those dark floors and furniture are very pretty, but they soak up those rays and emanate that heat back up to you. Keep your binds closed in rooms you don’t use during the day. There’s no need to make a room unnecessarily hot. If you’re not home, close as many blinds as possible. There won’t be anyone there to enjoy the light anyways.
- Make sure your house is insulated: Each time you turn on the air conditioning, make sure you and your family are the ones enjoying it, not your whole neighborhood. For those of you with older homes, check to make sure your house is insulated properly. No one wants to run their air conditioning for an extended period of time, only to lower the temperature by a few degrees. Check those windows and doors. Those small cracks can cause a lot of damage to your energy bill!
- Avoid peak energy times: To keep energy costs low during a heatwave, it’s best to avoid using high-energy appliances (even if they are Energy Star certified) during peak hours, which are typically between 9AM and 9PM. A way to help keep track of this is by using smart plugs to control appliances remotely. The Belkin WeMo Switch can be programmed to turn certain appliances on or off at a specified time.