11 Ways to Cool Your Home This Summer

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Summer can be a brutal time for homeowners pocket books. Did you know that for every degree you are able to keep from your thermostat you’ll save (on average) 4% off your utility bill! Be sure to check out these super smart tips to help save you money this summer:

Install Black Out curtains – These can be picked up at many retailers including Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s. For about $20 a panel you can expect to block out the sunlight which doesn’t allow your home to receive those hot rays of sunshine. In fact did you know that 10-25% of thermal energy loss goes out the windows? Blackout curtains can stop this loss by 25%, which in turns reduces your utility bills.
Raise Your Thermostat temperatures when you are away – This sounds easy enough but many of us are in such a hurry to leave our houses we forget to adjust the temperature on the thermostat. If you are heading away from your home considering raising the temperature a few degrees, this is especially something you’ll want to do while away on vacation! To make your life easier consider purchasing a Programmable Thermostat from your local home improvement store. You can often pick them up for about $50-$100.
Change your filter – Changing your filter not only keeps the nastiness out, but, when the filter is clean your unit doesn’t have to work as hard. Be sure to change your filter once a month, or as needed.
Light Cooking – Eating big meals on super hot days can often make you feel miserable. Not to mention, turning on the stove can heat up the house as much as 10 degrees. On super hot and sticky days leave the oven off! Consider cooking something light, on the stove top or better yet, fire up that grill!
Fans, Fans, Fans! – Call your local electrician and have them install ceiling fans in your main rooms! This helps to circulate the cool air that is pouring out from the vents below and you can keep your thermostat a degree or two higher than you normally would, again saving you money!
Avoid super low temps – The quickest way to get your air conditioning unit to lock up is to set your thermostat to low. Doing so makes your unit work super duper hard and can cause the lines to literally freeze up, costing you money for a maintenance call!
Keep tvs turned off – Do me a favor, will ya?!? The next time your tv is on stand next to it and feel the heat that the tv puts out! It’ll blow your mind. So if you aren’t watching the tv turn it off, play outside in a sprinkler or better yet….take a nap! This will help keep your room cooler and that’s what we all want, right?!?
Close  Doors & Vents in unused rooms – If you have a room in your home that isn’t frequently used considering closing your floor vents off to that room and keeping the door shut. Doing so will allow the air to pass that room and enter a room that is utilized.
Plant Trees – The more trees and shrubs you can plant to receive shade to your home the better!
Seal Cracks – Let weather-strip, seal, and caulk become your friend on leaky doors and windows. This will prevent the outside air from seeking into your home. In addition, consider installing foam gaskets behind outlet covers!
Take Care of Your Ducts – This is one you’ll need to call in a pro and spend a little money. Have the ducts checked for any leaks or restrictions. In addition, have your air ducts clean.

Now that you know how to keep your home cool this summer, have fun! Involve the children where you can and make cooling down the digs a family event! Be sure to take note to how much you are currently paying now so that you can see your savings add up as you receive your next months bills.

In addition, one last piece of advice is to call your energy provider and ask if they have budget billing available. If so, have them put your invoice on budget billing. Budget billing is your homes yearly average. This way you’ll know the exact dollar amount that you’ll be paying all year round and won’t have any surprises!