There's a common problem that renters run into when searching for ways to save money on cooling costs in the summer – most of the advice out there is geared for homeowners. As a renter, you have far less control over your cooling equipment and your home's insulation. However, that doesn't mean that you're stuck with out-of-control energy costs this summer. Take a look at some ways that savvy renters can save money on their cooling costs this summer.
Thermostat Setting Savings
Probably the most effective thing that you can do to keep your energy bills down is to be smart about the temperature that you set on your thermostat. The Department of Energy suggests that setting your thermostat for 78 degrees in the summer months will save you 15% on your energy bills. If you can stand to go a few degrees higher, do so – each additional degree will shave more money off your bill. You should also turn the AC off when you sleep at night or leave the house for the day.
If it's OK with your landlord, you can help ensure that you stay at the right temperature by installing a programmable thermostat. This is an inexpensive upgrade that will allow you to set a temperature schedule that works for you. Even if you have to buy it yourself, it will soon pay for itself in energy savings. However, if your landlord isn't on board with the addition, you can achieve the same effect by setting the temperature manually and turning the AC on and off when appropriate. Simply being mindful of your thermostat settings is enough to save you money.
Cutting Costs With Curtains
You may not have much control over the insulation, but very few landlords will object to you adding new window treatments. Curtains, drapes, or blinds can make a big difference by blocking out the sun's light and heat during the hottest part of the day.
You can purchase thermal curtains that come with extra insulation. These are a great option for blocking the heat and keeping your home cooler so that the air conditioner doesn't have to work as hard. No matter what kind of curtains you use, make sure that the opening above the curtain, between the curtain rod and the wall, is covered. This prevents heat from rising through the opening.
Shut Doors For Discounts
If you're not in the habit of shutting the doors to rooms and spaces that you're not using, now is the time to develop that habit. The closet where you store your winter blankets isn't in need of air conditioning. There also isn't much point in cooling a room that you're not currently using. Shut the doors to unused rooms and closets, and also cabinets and drawers. This will concentrate the cool air in the area of the house that you are actually using.
Finally, make sure to communicate with your landlord. You can take cost-saving measures, but if your AC isn't working properly, you'll still spend more than you want to on cooling. Your landlord needs to know about any malfunction so that they can take steps to fix it.
To learn more, contact an AC company like Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.