Anyone who lives in Florida (and the rest of the South, for that matter), can tell you that the summer heat is no joke.
Between the sunshine, humidity, and lack of shade, being caught outside for long periods of time in the summertime is not the “hottest” of ideas.
While there is plenty to do outdoors, a lot of people also like to spend time indoors during the summer months. Staying cool and out of the sun really plays a huge part in how we Floridians get through June, July, and August.
This makes limiting the maintenance costs on your home super important during the hot Florida summer months. Find out how you can save some money when the heat gets going.
1. Use Fans (Any Kind)
Whether it be on your ceiling or a free-standing one next to your bed, fans can be a real lifesaver. Thanks to the wind-chill effect, the fan can bring the temperature down a full 6-7 degrees. Technically a fan doesn’t cool the room, but it makes it a lot more bearable to be in.
The fan paired with your running AC can really keep the heat outside by dispersing the cool air all around the house. This will allow you to keep your AC at a high temperature since the fan helps move the cold air around. Just make sure to turn the fan off when you aren’t using it as it uses up electricity and can increase your bill.
2. Avoid Heat Buildup
In the summer, the temperature outside greatly exceeds what you have your AC on in your home. Because of this, try to avoid heat-producing activities throughout the day. Try to save cooking on a hot stove or grill for later in the day when temperatures aren’t at their highest.
Maybe you could hang dry your clothes when doing your laundry instead of running the dryer. You can even do the dishes by hand in order to avoid the dishwasher. If you plan on staying inside all day, chances are you’ll want to watch TV, be on your computer, or listen to music.
Keep in mind that those electronics, plus many others, produce a ton of heat, so try to limit the amount of time you spend on them or get some friends together to play a board game! You’ll be saving money and staying cool all at the same time! It’s a win-win!
3. Cut Back on Watering the Grass
It’s true that a favorite summer pastime is running around in the sprinklers in the backyard. If a home doesn’t have a pool, sprinklers and slip-and-slides are a close second choice as a way to cool off. However, that fun can come with a high price tag.
In addition, it seems that more and more places are experiencing droughts across the country, so using necessary water isn’t a great idea. It is estimated that 50 percent to 70 percent of our residential water is used on landscaping alone. I know you spent a ton of time perfecting your front yard, but you can really lower your water bill by not watering your grass every day.
Keep in mind, here in Florida we get a ton of rain. We basically have a storm at least once a day in the afternoons during summer. This should allow you to keep from overwatering your lawn and being the neighbor who uses too much water!
4. Home Energy Audit
A lot of power companies will perform what is called a Home Energy Audit upon request. And the best part: it’s free! During peak usage times, some companies have to borrow power from other providers in order to meet their client’s demands.
This means that they have just as much to lose as you do if you are over-powering your home. It can cost you both a lot of money. It’s also super quick and can be done in just an hour. Not only will they check to make sure everything is running properly, but they will be happy to provide you with some cost and time-saving tips!
5. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
With a lot of people buying older homes instead of building new ones, there is a good chance that you may have an “old-school” thermostat. This is the one that you have to manually slide to change the temperature. Oftentimes you are really guessing what the temperature is, and can’t tell exactly what degree it is set on.
Investing in a programmable thermostat is a great idea since you can basically get back the money you spend on one in a year. These updated thermostats allow you to choose the exact temperature you want and make it easily visible. You can also set it to automatically change the temperature when you aren’t at home so you never have to worry about remembering to turn the air up before you leave! If you’re taking a trip or just at work for 8 hours, your programmable thermostat will stay at whatever temperature you choose and allow you to save a ton of money each month!
These tips are meant to be helpful guidelines and are not all-inclusive of all of the options and ideas that are available to you when trying to reduce maintenance costs for your home during the summer. If you have any neat ideas feel free to share them below!
Making Sense of Cents, “How to Save Money in the Summer and Still Have Fun” Retrieved from: https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2017/05/how-to-save-money-in-the-summer.html
U.S. News, “6 Ways to Save on Home Energy in the Heat of Summer” Retrieved from: https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2012/07/24/6-ways-to-save-on-home-energy-in-the-heat-of-summer
Huffington Post, “10 Easy Ways to Save Money this Summer” Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/money-crashers-personal-finance/saving-money-summer_b_1414559.html
NEA Member Benefits, “5 Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs this Summer” Retrieved from: https://www.neamb.com/shopping-discounts/reduce-cooling-costs.htm