Keeping Your Energy Bill Down in Summer, Part Two: Ways to Feel Cooler
Here in the Tennessee Valley, our biggest energy bills usually come during the long, hot summers. We’re taking a look at a variety of ways you can reduce those bills. Today we’re looking at some ways to make your home feel cooler without turning down the thermostat and running the air conditioner more.
- Take Advantage of Cool Nights: During less humid periods of the spring and summer, nighttime temperatures sometimes dip down into the 60s or below. On those cooler nights, opening windows after dark can let cool air come inside. Just be sure to close those windows shortly after dawn in the morning so you can trap the cool air and not let warm air in.
- Be Smart with Your Ceiling Fan: The “wind chill” effect created by a ceiling fan can make a room feel four to eight degrees cooler. Make sure that your ceiling fan is switched to the correct summer setting—it should be turning counter-clockwise and you should feel a breeze blowing downward when you stand underneath it. Also, be sure to turn off the ceiling fan when you leave the room. If there’s nobody around to feel the “wind chill,” then a running fan is just wasting energy.
- Dry the Air: The higher the humidity, the warmer you feel at any given temperature. So if you can decrease the humidity in your home, you can set the thermostat at a higher temperature and still be comfortable. You can dehumidify small spaces with portable one-room dehumidifiers, or you can get a whole-house dehumidifier that works with your HVAC system to keep your entire home’s humidity at an ideal level. This will also help prevent mold and damage to wood furniture and flooring that can occur if the indoor humidity is over 50%.