As we eagerly anticipate spring and warmer temperatures, we also know that it won’t be long before the thermometer reading soars, and we’re figuring out ways to stay cool. With skyrocketing energy prices, everybody’s budget has taken a hit. What can you do to stay comfortable in your apartment without breaking the bank?
The approach you take depends on the age of your apartment building. Many of today’s new builds are based on green design principles that may include solar energy, tempered windows, and other features designed to work with the environment instead of against it. It may be a little more challenging with an older building, but it can work. Fortunately, most apartments come with central air conditioning and many still have ceiling fans which can work to your advantage.
Here are some tips for keeping cool during the summer.
Ceiling fans aren’t everybody’s idea of decorative lighting, but they can come in handy during warmer months. They can work in tandem with your AC to circulate the air in your apartment. Consider running the ceiling fan while you are home and have the air conditioning running. While it may sound counterintuitive to use more electricity to save on your electricity bill, it makes sense. If your ceiling fans, which use less energy than the AC unit, help circulate air, the AC will not have to work as hard, thus reducing overall costs.
Smart thermostats are trending right now. These are thermostats that will adapt to your energy usage patterns and adjust the indoor temperature accordingly. For example, if you keep the temperature in your apartment lower from 6 to 11 p.m., the thermostat will lower the AC temperature during those hours. It will regulate the temperature to be warmer during the day when you aren’t home. Ask your property manager about installing a smart thermostat. Some utility companies will install smart thermostats for free or at a reduced charge. The catch is that you allow them to monitor your utilization as part of their overall seasonal trend data.
Light-blocking curtains are handy for keeping it warm during the winter, but they can serve the opposite purpose during the summer. Consider drawing the curtains during the times you aren’t home to block out the sunlight and heat. And forget about the notion that all light-blocking curtain panels are black or other dark colors. You can find light-blocking window treatments in a variety of colors and weights to keep your décor light and breezy during the spring and summer. If your apartment is drafty and leaks heat during the winter, then cool air is escaping during the summer. You can block the space under your front door with a towel, blanket, or piece of fabric. Get creative.
Incandescent light bulbs are becoming harder and harder to find and with good reason. LED bulbs, last longer, use less energy, and are much cooler than their predecessors. The good news is that the prices of LED bulbs have gone down quite a bit so you can afford to replace all of the light bulbs in your apartment. While the initial cost may be a little higher than what you’ve paid in the past, the LED bulbs will pay for themselves through reduced energy bills and not having to replace them very often.
Hopefully, these tips will give you some ideas for when it gets really hot. If you plan now, you can seamlessly transition to summer without compromising comfort and saving money as well. The good news is that all of these hacks incorporate either something you already have or items that you can pick up for little or no cost.
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