1. Rotate your fans
Since warm air rises toward the ceiling, you’ll want to rotate your fans counterclockwise so cool air can blow downward, which produces air movement in the center of the room and creates the effect of a breeze.
2. Close the blinds
You can continue to conserve energy by closing your blinds so sunlight can’t stream in. Though beams of sun dancing on the floor can be pretty and are ideal for afternoon cat naps, it makes your air conditioning unit work harder than it needs to.
3. Insulate and seal window and door frames
Check for gaps in your window frames and door frames and seal them off so cool air can’t escape. (This will help in the wintertime, too, when you don’t want frigid air seeping through cracks.) For homes in warmer climates, installing a radiant barrier in the attic - made from highly reflective material that reflects heat instead of absorbing it - can reduce cooling costs.
4. Close doors and vents
Since most people spend the majority of their time at home in their bedroom or living room, consider shutting the doors to rooms you aren’t utilizing to keep the supply of cold air where you are. Whether it’s a guest bedroom or the basement, you can close the doors and vents in those spaces so the rooms you do hang out in stay comfortably cool.
5. Reduce oven use
Appliances like ovens and dryers uses electricity, which can affect your utility bill, too. Additionally, both of these appliances can heat up your home from use, making your air conditioner work harder to keep areas in your home at an optimal temperature. Instead, opt for salads brimming with seasonal vegetables or make deli sandwiches with cold cuts and fresh tomato.
6. Swap your dryer for a drying rack
When you’re doing the laundry, use a drying rack or backyard clothesline - just don’t wait until the last minute, lest you’re stuck wearing wet slacks to work!
There are other ways to keep utility costs low during the summer, as well.
• Call your utilities company to see if they offer perks or rewards for conserving energy; you may be eligible to receive bill credits or rebates on energy-efficient thermostats for participating in energy savings.
• Though it may take a few years, you can plant trees and easy-care perennials to help shade your house, which will ultimately help you save on cooling costs.
• If chugging water and disconnecting electronics overnight still isn’t cutting it, shut off your AC and head to your favorite bookstore or a nearby theater for their almost-glacial air conditioning. After all, buying a small iced coffee at the bookstore or a ticket to a new summer blockbuster is a small price to pay for major at-home energy savings.