Monday, July 23, 2012

Save on your electric bill

Don't Turn on that Air Conditioner!!!

A couple years back we had an A/C unit on hospice. Yes, it was dying and to try to make it last as long as possible I took on the challenge to use it as little as possible. I had so much success that I continued the practice even after we purchased our new and much better system. So here is my routine to going without A/C as long as possible

Become familiar with the weather forecast - when you know what the hottest it will be you won't feel like throwing in the towel so soon - "Its only going to get to 89 I can make it a little bit longer"

At night and when it is cool enough outside for your liking - have all the windows you can stand be open - flood the house with fresh air and coolness.

Then, when just before, or as soon as it gets above your comfort line - go and SHUT all those windows and close the blinds (facing up) and if you have them the curtains too.

Treat your house like the fridge when the power is out - only open doors on a really, really need to basis - Don't leave the door open as you slowly bring in all the groceries. Don't let the kids leave the garage door wide open.
The goal here is to keep that cool air you let in earlier IN YOUR HOUSE.

With this system I kept my house at least 15-20 degrees cooler on the inside than it was on the outside - even when it was about 95 outside.

My system keeps working until it gets too hot at night to sufficiently cool the house.
Like I said keep track of that forecast and you'll know how cool its going to get at night.

Other tips:
have a fan in every room: ceiling, stand, or box -
Box fans in windows help circulate air through the house well but for other fans you only need them on in the room if you are IN the room - fans only make you feel cooler by moving the air - if you are not there to feel the moved air you are just wasting your money.

Have a thermostat to tell you actually how hot it is - for me just knowings its only _______ degrees I seem to be able to tolerate more.

Be very aware of activities in your home that increase temperature.
Exercise early when its cooler

Shut the door to your laundry room - a dryer going all day can raise the temp steadily

Be very careful of cooking methods - nothing will make you switch on that a/c faster than an oven in a Texas kitchen on a hot day. Use those crock pots my friends! Or better yet a solar oven.

I have to say that dinner time is the hardest part of the plan - I only really ever got uncomfy in that 4-7 pm time - be prepared in advance and ready and you'll make it.

Dress cool, cook cool, drink lots of water.

A damp bandanna holding your hair back feels wonderful

I have made it to June and then only with intermittent use until July. This family doesn't use it at all and they live in Texas too!

Its a happy, happy, joy, joy dance when you get the electric bill and its SO LOW

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