Saving on AC
Air conditioning costs are usually the biggest factor when it comes to summer spending. Try these tips to keep costs down:
- Close blinds/drapes on windows during the day when the air conditioning is on to keep sunlight from adding to the heat inside the house.
- Cool only the room or rooms you use most, closing off vents and rooms not in use.
- If possible, have your AC unit in a shaded area, and, make sure the area is not cut off from a breeze with tight walls or shrubs.
- Keep your AC filter clean and your unit serviced regularly. If your unit is old, consider the cost savings of upgrading to an Energy Star model.
- Consider having an energy audit done by the electric company to see where you can save on energy costs year-round.
- Look into rebates and tax incentives if you install solar panels, which could power your AC and other electricity.
- When temperatures are reasonable, open the windows for a cross breeze rather than always relying on the AC.
Aside from saving on energy costs, there are many other ways to add enjoyment and cost savings to your summer itinerary. Here are six tips for a fun and inexpensive summer:
- Water your lawn in the early morning hours, as water will evaporate more during the heat of the day, and watering at night can cause mold in some regions.
- Stay hydrated with water, melons and homemade popsicles. To make homemade popsicles, just fill your ice tray with your favorite juice, cover in plastic wrap, and insert a toothpick in the middle of each cube. Freeze the tray, and you have a tasty popsicle. Frozen fruit also makes for a cool summertime treat.
- Beat the heat with matinee at the movies. Many theaters have a bargain day, such as Tuesdays, where tickets are at an additional reduced price. Also look for “dollar” theaters in your area.
- If you don’t have money for a full vacation this summer, consider a “staycation.” Watch for local deals at hotels and spas for a change of scenery and some pampering without the expense of air or car travel.
- Plant a summer garden or container garden save on produce.
- Wet a washcloth or hand towel and freeze it in a baggie, then, when you come in from outside, you can refresh yourself by placing it around your neck or wiping your face and neck.
Heat isn’t just uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous. If the power goes out or you’re outside for prolonged periods during high heat, stay hydrated and watch for signs of heat stroke, which include headache, dizziness, lack of sweat despite the heat, nausea and shortness of breath. If you experience these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
With a little creativity and smart planning, summertime can be filled with comfort and enjoyment without breaking the bank.