If you're concerned about rising energy costs and how they'll impact your utilities bills, it's worthwhile to give consideration to your air conditioner usage. Sure, it's pleasing to keep your home chilly when it's hot outside, but you might find that your temperature is rising when you open your next bill. Fortunately, it's easy for you and your family to adopt some smart habits that can keep your A/C usage manageable and, in turn, reduce the risk of an unpleasant surprise on your utilities bill. Beyond dressing lightly, keeping hydrated and enjoying a cold shower or two, here are three ways you can still remain comfortable in your home without using the air conditioning quite as much.
Block Out The Sun
Your air conditioner will have to work more than it needs to when you allow the sun's hot rays to shine into your home throughout the day. The natural light might seem appealing on one hand, but the reality is that these beams will increase the heat in your home and cause your A/C to run long and hard. You can easily get into the habit of blocking out the sun by closing up your blinds and drapes when you get up in the morning. An additional strategy is to invest in insulated curtains; they're multi-layered and better at keeping the heat from outside from entering your home.
Be Smart About Your Thermostat
Modern-day thermostats give you a wide variety of programming options, so take the time to get acquainted with it and set it to help you save money. There's no point in letting your air conditioner run steadily throughout the middle of the day if your home is empty or overnight when it's cooler outside and you can simply open your windows and turn on some fans to keep cool. Investing in a "smart" thermostat is also ideal, as it will allow you to control your A/C from your smartphone, regardless of where you are. This means that you if you've neglected to set the thermostat before leaving for work, you can do the job with ease from your device.
Use Ice On Cooling Points
It's fine to take a cold shower when you want to decrease your body temperature without cranking up the air conditioner, but by strategically cooling yourself in the hours that you're not bathing, you can stay comfortable enough to limit your A/C usage. An effective strategy is to hold ice packs -- wrapped in towels to prevent chilling your skin too much -- on strategic cooling points where your veins and arteries are close to the surface. Cooling these points, which include your wrists and inner elbows, can actually serve to cool your blood and make your entire body feel more refreshed.
For more efficiency tips, contact a local AC contractor, like Metro Air.