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25+ Ways To Save A TON Of Money On Cooling Bills
Graphic © off-grid.info. Photo – © Sinisa Botas – Fotolia.com (under license)
Did you know that cooling and heating use more energy (and therefore more money) than ANY other systems in your home? It’s true.
On a hot day, air conditioning can consume a staggering 43% of the power used in the USA!! Not to mention the half billion tons of CO2 produced per year.
Most people are spending a ton of money on AC in the summer (and another ton on heating in the winter) – and some don’t even realize how much it is costing.
We found a great page full of (at least) 20 tips for ways to cut down on your summer cooling bills. Some of these are super-simple and will start saving you money immediately. Several of them use shading, ventilation techniques and eliminating sources of heat on hot days. And no matter what time of year you happen to be reading this, there are projects that you can start putting in place to be ready for when the warm days arrive.
I’ve added 6 more great cooling tips to the original list of 20 (the link to that list is below these):
21) Adjust the thermostat!! For some crazy reason, it seems fashionable to “refrigerate” the heck out of buildings in the summer. I have sat shivering in Florida hotel lobbies on hot summer days, because the AC was set so high that it was like an icebox in there. What a colossal waste of money and fossil fuels! If you find yourself reaching for warmer clothing because you set the AC too high, adjust it! You don’t need to dial it all the way down to the 60’s! 74-77 is plenty low enough.
22) Wet fabric. The most ancient cooling method under the sun, and still one of the most effective. This is a real survival tip and I know just how well this works because I’ve tested it on boiling days in the Mojave Desert when I was working outdoors in 114 degrees! What you need: 1 small to medium sized towel or other small to medium sized square of fabric (cotton is great) – and one bowl of water, or cold tap. You can also dunk the fabric in an ice chest if it has some (clean) water in it. The method is simple; get the fabric wet, wring it out a bit, roll it into a “snake” and then place it around your neck! Just leave it there – and then when it starts to dry out, repeat. There is a lot of blood flow through the neck, and so this natural cooling method really helps.
23) Turn off / unplug all electrical devices not in use. Most electrical items consume some electricity and generate some heat even when in standby mode. Even a 6-way strip has a small bulb that generates some heat! Hi-fi and other devices have transformers which kick out heat when they are on or in standby mode, even if not in actual use. Unplugging these items when possible in summer will save you money not only on the “phantom” electricity they use in standby, but on the additional cooling needed to cool the place back down again after they have heated it up!!
24) Fill up empty space in the fridge with bottles of water. Every time you open the fridge, you let out the cold air and let in warm air, and so it has to work harder. However, if your fridge is nowhere near full, you can fill up the empty space with gallon jugs of water and this will save you some money!
25) Save money on “bag ice”. Here’s a super-simple way to save money on buying bags of ice – make your own re-usable ice blocks for free! Simply get a 1 gallon plastic water bottle, the single-use type with a screw top that you might buy at the store. When you have drunk all the “nice water”, refill it from the tap (to around 85% full). Mark on it with a permanent marker “tap water ice, do not drink” or something like that – and put the lid on nice and tight. Then, put it in the freezer! When you are ready to go out for the afternoon with the cooler, you have a ready-made, re-usable ice block that you can simply put back in the freezer when you are done! I’ve used this method for numerous road trips and adventures and block ice stays cold longer than bag ice too. Another great benefit is that you don’t have all that clean-up to do because you won’t end up with a cooler sloshing full of water… win win.
26) Build / utilize techniques from an Earthship or other “passive solar” home. An Earthship is a special type of eco-home that uses thermal mass (read: ultra thick walls made from rammed dirt) an natural convection systems in order to save on heating and cooling. The interior of these homes stays cool in summer, warm in winter because of the massive “heat storage” effect of the walls and the cleverly designed air flow. It’s incredible to think that by utilizing simple “low tech” techniques like these, you can completely eliminate the need for AC. Earthships are amazing off-grid homes and have been found effective in desert environments. More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship
Ok, here is the link to the original list of 20+ Tips For Ways To Cut Down On Your Summer Cooling Bills: http://eartheasy.com/live_naturalcooling.htm
Got any more tips for ways to save a ton of money on cooling bills? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.
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Graphic – off-grid.info. Image – © Sinisa Botas – Fotolia.com
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