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Friday, May 23, 2014

Cooling your home without hurting your budget in summer 2014

Keeping cool in summer without spending $$$ on AC

This is my new article on Keeping Cool in summer 2014 without Spending Big Money on AC

All Air conditioners are really a big hydro suckers

Cooling your home without hurting your budget in summer 2014

Take a lot of fans to beat the cost of running an air-conditioner, A fan might only be 1/2kw against an air-conditioner 650-850 kW. Fan is small. Air-conditioner is cooling the air, where a fan only moves the air. Two different things they are. Also most air-conditioners have a fan in it as well.

In the typical home, air conditioning uses more electricity than anything else -- 16% of total electricity used. In warmer regions AC can be 60-70% of your summer electric bill, according to Austin Energy. If you're serious about saving energy, address your cooling costs first, since that's what uses the most electricity.

Of course, you'll save the most money if you can learn to do without your AC at all. It's definitely possible. A combination of ceiling fans, insulation, and the other tips below will keep you comfortable -- and saves hundreds of dollars every summer. You could take a trip to Las Vegas every year from what you can save by not using AC.
A window unit AC uses 500 to 1440 watts, while a 2.5-ton central system uses about 3500 watts. That's a lot of energy. A floor fan uses only 100 watts on the highest speed, and ceiling fans use only 15 to 95 watts depending on speed and size.

Here are some nice tips to keep cool in summer without spending $$$ on AC.

Cooling your home without hurting your budget in summer 2014

  1.  Check your Ceiling fan spinning (Blowing Down)

Make sure your fan is blowing DOWN, to send air past your body, removing the hot air that surrounds your body. If your fan is blowing up, it won't do any good.  In fact, it's worse than no fan, because it moves the warm air at the ceiling back down towards the living area. It's true that a fan that blows down also pushes the warmer air down from the ceiling into the living area, but it's blowing even warmer air away from your body, so the overall effect is to cool you down.
Almost all fans have a switch to change the fan direction.  It's an up/down or left/right switch on the side of the fan (between the light and the fan blades), and it's usually unlabeled.  Make sure the fan is off (not spinning) before you flip the switch or you can damage the motor.  Once you've turned the fan off, it's fine to physically stop the blades with your hand, just be gentle so you don't bend the blades, otherwise the fan will wobble when you turn it back on.  With the blades stopped, flip the direction (summer/winter) switch, then turn the fan back on.
So how do you know which direction is up and which is down?

For most fans, when you're standing under the fan looking up, a counter-clockwise blow down and clockwise blows up. Check by standing under the fan when it's on full-speed.  If you can feel the wind hitting you hard, then it's blowing down. To verify, stop the fan, change the direction switch, then turn the fan on full-blast again and compare the difference.

  1.  Buy a special kind of "Chillow" pillow

The Chillow is a water-filled pillow that keeps your head cool while you sleep. You can either sleep directly on it or put it inside a pillow case. I bought one as soon as it came out and it really works. You can Order this for $30-35

  1. Use a Bed Fan for comfort sleep

Most people prefer to sleep with covers; even though that traps the heat your body creates. So you can run an expensive AC to cool the whole house just so you can be comfortable under the covers...or you can simply use a Bed fan. It's a small, gentle fan that operates right under the covers. Why didn't someone think of this before? This could be great for people who experience night sweats or hot flashes. And you won't have to run an expensive AC all night long.

  1. Wear a wrung-out shirt

It totally works. It works even better if you combine it with a fan.

  1.  Shower before sleeping

A quick, cool shower can keep you cool for quite a while afterward.  And the water cost is trivial compared to the electric cost.

  1.  Use an AC timer.

For central AC, your thermostat might already have a timer built-in.  If not, you can replace your thermostat with a programmable one.

For window unit AC's, many modern units have a timer built in.  If not, you can use a simple plug-in timer if your AC has a mechanical on/Off switch (i.e., you physically move it into a different position when you turn the AC on).  But plug-in timers usually don't work if the On/Off switch is electronic (i.e., you push a soft button on a panel to turn the AC on or off).

  1. Plant Tree on south or west side of House

If you plant trees on the south or west sides of your house, it’ll keep it cooler in the summer but it’ll actually keep it warmer in the winters because the sun sets and rises on the opposite side in the winter.

  1. Replace all incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient

We all have incandescent bulbs as they burn a lot of energy. It is good idea to replace them with energy-efficient fluorescent bulb

  1. Choose white window shades

If you’re going to do drape window, you could just add white window shades. They’re white so they’ll reflect the light off. Cellular shades or honeycomb shades are awesome too because they almost trap the heat in the cellular compartments of the shade. They’re a little more expensive, but I think if you’re living in a house for a long time it would be a good investment to make.

  1. Paint with Light colours

The light, more powdery pastel colours are very cooling and soothing. You could even go tan as long as it’s like a grayish-taupy tan.

  1. Use More Fans

Fans are good way to get cool air without spending much money on AC.

Cooling your home without hurting your budget in summer 2014
  1. Day to day chores

Sometimes it’s a better idea to shower in the morning or at night and not in middle of the day; same thing with doing dishes, washing and drying your clothes, cooking — all that stuff can help reduce heat in the house. You’re just trying to avoid that midday heat — that’s when it’s the worst.

  1. Use more natural fibre jute rugs

Replace your heavy carpet with one of those natural fibre jute rugs. They’re almost very nautical in a sense so it gives you that sense of coolness. It makes you feel like you’re on the beach.

  1. Add more insulation to your Attic

If you’re going to live there for a while it might be worth adding insulation to your attic. You could go up to like 12 inches of insulation and it’ll dramatically reduce the heat that’s in your house.

  1. Open windows

It is good idea to keep your house cool in night time by opening windows.


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