In summer, Oklahoma heat is unforgiving. As the temperature spikes, so can your electric bill, but these strategies can help you reduce your electric usage and stay cool.
Seal window cracks to prevent heat from pouring into your apartment or home
Most people work to seal windows in their home or apartment in the winter to keep the warm air from escaping, but the same strategy is useful in the heat of summer to keep warm air out. Rubber sealing or window film will do the trick, but remember to install a product that will still allow you to open your windows on cool, breezy nights.
Consider grilling outside rather than baking indoors
If it is warm in the house, baking or cooking on a stove top will only increase the room temperature. Take the opportunity to have a cookout. It isn’t uncommon for apartment complexes to have designated outdoor grilling areas, and hot summer days are the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the amenity. An added benefit is you have the opportunity to keep all that extra heat outside rather than in your home.
Use energy efficient light bulbs
On average, five percent of energy consumption is dedicated to lighting, which means you have the opportunity to save, especially during high consumption months in summer, by investing in energy efficient light bulbs. The best options are Halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Traditional light bulbs give off 90 percent of their energy as heat, which is not what you want, especially in the summer.
Install a programmable thermostat
If you have a specific routine, then a programmable thermostat can make your home more efficient by limiting air conditioning in your absence and increasing it at the times you need it most. If you already have a programmable thermostat, then make sure you take the time to learn the settings, and optimize it for your lifestyle.
Use fans to cool the room
A ceiling fan or even a desk fan can help you keep the room a few degrees hotter while maintaining comfortable with the temperature.Ceiling fans help push down warm air, which forces the cool air near the floor to stir around the room.
If you’re not using it, then unplug it from the wall. Phantom energy is the electricity used by equipment that is off but plugged in, and it accounts for nearly 15 percent of the energy consumption from these gadgets. Power strips can make this process less of a hassle because you don’t have to struggle to get to outlets behind heavy desks or entertainment centers.
Hang up light-colored heavy curtains (preferably reflective).
The Department of Energy reported that draperies with white-plastic backings could reduce heat gain by 33 percent. A reflective backing on curtains can also redirect the heat away from your house. Curtains on the east and west side of a home will help reduce heat gain more than north or south facing windows.
Regularly replace air filters
Dirty air filters cause your air conditioning unit to work harder. It is better to change the filters monthly to keep your system working well. Another added benefit is higher air quality and reduced allergens in your home.
Keep yourself cool and hydrated
You can also keep the room temperature warmer if you stay cool and hydrated. Drink refreshing beverages like iced mint tea or cold water, and wear light clothing. The longer you remain comfortable the less you need to turn on air conditioning.
NorthStar Properties provides residents the energy efficient appliances, and is ready to help you with any maintenance needs like fixing window seals. Contact us to learn more about our amenities and available units.