Carolina Summers are some of the best around, especially in Charleston, SC, but while the hot weather and breezy beaches can be nice, it’s crucial to know how to keep both you and your house cool this season. We’ve all been there—those times when you just want to turn your house into an igloo and forget about what your energy bill will look like on its next payment date. But rather than facing that dreadful bill, here are some other ways to keep cool without burning a hole in your wallet.
Check Your Cooling System
If your cooling system is more than 12 years old, it is passing its mid-life point. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save anywhere from 20-40% of your energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. If replacing your system is not in your budget this year, make sure you check your system’s air filters every month. A dirty air filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool—wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, which can lead to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure. Also, consider having your system serviced annually by an HVAC contractor to ensure that it’s running at optimum efficiency to save energy and money.
Get Smart About Your Thermostat
Setting your home thermostat to 78 degrees hits that Goldilocks “just right” mentality of keeping cool but without spending your entire paycheck on your electric bill. While 78 degrees may be the recommended thermostat setting for saving money according to the U.S. Department of Energy, it may still be a little warm for some members of your house, so consider keeping it as close as you can to this number. Some factors that could also help are keeping your windows closed during the day, turning on your ceiling fans, wearing loose and light clothing, and avoiding cooking any hot meals during the day. At night, when everyone is sleeping, this temperature setting could be easier to tolerate as our body temperature drops while we sleep.
Seal and Insulate
Reducing the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home is a very cost-effective way to cut cooling costs this Summer and even heating expenses in the colder months. Sealing and insulating can increase comfort and create a healthier indoor environment, as well. You could also save up to $190 a year by sealing air leaks around your house and adding insulation to your doors and windows. In most southern homes, the attic is easy to access, and improving it has the biggest benefit. A good insulation contractor can help seal any air leaks and can add insulation to the recommended level on top.
Replace Old Windows
Old windows make it hard to keep your home comfortable and will drive up cooling costs. Summer is the best time to replace leaky, old windows because this is the time when we use our air conditioner the most. New windows can greatly reduce your electricity bill as they can keep the cool temperature inside the room during summer and retain the heat during cold seasons. They can lower household energy bills by a national average of 12 percent—that’s more than $200!
Be a Fan of Your Fan
A ceiling fan won’t lower the overall temperature in a room, but it can definitely make a space feel much cooler than it is. Ceiling fans primarily work through something called a wind chill effect which creates a nice breeze. Essentially, the moving air across your skin helps to evaporate sweat at a faster rate. If you raise your thermostat by only two degrees and use your ceiling fan, you can lower your air conditioning costs by up to 14%. But remember, ceiling fans cool you, not the room so, turn them off whenever you leave a room.
Chill With Team Lail-Chambers This Summer!
When you’re ready to move to Charleston, SC, or what we like to call southern paradise, make sure to call Team Lail-Chambers. Our team of experts, led by Bob Chambers and Pheobe Lail-Chambers, are some of the most professional agents you’ll encounter and will give you the easiest home-buying experience imaginable. We can help you determine your top priorities and find a place that accommodates both your tastes and your budget. Our staff knows the Lowcountry well and is acquainted with all of the facilities, resources, and services available in each community. We’ll make sure to fit you with a home you’ll love!