Many families are looking for ways to keep their homes cool during the summer heat without increasing their monthly electric bills. South Central Indiana REMC has a free energy advisor program for our members that can help you keep your heating and cooling costs under control. These energy advisors are local experts who work to understand your needs and energy options. They assess your home to identify areas where you can save energy and money.
In the meantime, we have listed a few low- or no-cost ways that you can keep your home cooler this summer.
Start with your windows.
It sounds basic, but it will make your house warm if the sun comes in through your windows. You can use window coverings in the middle of the day to keep sunlight from coming in. Keeping curtains or blinds closed can especially be helpful if you are gone during the day. Thicker curtains, thermal shades, blackout curtains, or interior shutters are ways to keep your rooms cooler, especially those facing the south and west sides of your home.
Increase the airflow
Indiana summers often bring stagnant, humid air. Air conditioners remove some humidity and get the air moving, both of which can be done without the expensive noise of cooling the entire house. Create cross-ventilation by opening windows and placing fans at both ends of your home, with one fan facing inward and one facing outward to draw the air through. Take advantage of cool nights to flush out the hot, stagnant air and draw cooler night air in. Close the windows when the temperature starts to climb again to keep the cooler air in.
If you have a basement, you can use a dehumidifier to draw the humidity out of the air and keep the basement cooler and more resistant to mold. This will keep the ground floor cooler and prevent unhealthy or toxic mold growth during the damp summer months. Still, if run continuously, it might increase electric consumption.
Hot air is likely everywhere.
People often do not realize how many places warm air (and cold air in the winter) can get inside your home: think around windows, door frames, crawl spaces, and even around recessed lights.
Our experts will do a diagnostic assessment and provide you with a list of areas to consider making improvements.
Insulation is key year-round.
If your home has exposed rafters in your attic, insulation is a must. Heat flows from a hotter place to a cooler place. Not having insulation means heat is seeping into your house, and your air conditioner is having to work a lot harder.
Use an outdoor grill for cooking to keep from turning the oven on in an already hot home. Also, consider getting creative with your salads, fruits, and smoothies to keep your body fueled with healthy foods.
Turn off the lights
If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, they can create heat. Turn off the television and clothes dryers, which will not only help keep your home cooler but will also help lower your electric bill.
If you have any additional questions about an Energy Audit or want to know if our Energy Advisors can help with your efficiency needs, please give us a call at (765) 352-4756 or visit www.sciremc.com/energy-advisor.