As I have worked to cut costs on my day-to-day living, I found a really cool way (no pun intended) in cutting my air conditioning bill almost in half. Delmarva nicely provides a variety of tools that you can use to show how much energy you use.
In a book that I am writing about Baby Boomers Refocusing on Relocation, one of the tools that I used to decide against moving my freezer and refrigerator to Florida is a pie chart that Delmarva provided. As you can see from this pie chart, my freezer and refrigerator consume almost one-third of my entire energy bill because they are both so old. Therefore, despite the fact that they are both still working, I have been convinced to buy a new refrigerator and freezer in Florida.
Back to the reason for this post is to show you how I cut my air conditioning bill in almost half. Take a look at the graphs below to show the kilowatt hours that I used in 2010 compared to 2014..
A trick that I learned years ago is if you put a fan in a window or doorway, so the fan blows the air from the outside to the inside, in the very early morning hours and late in the evening, when the heat has subsided, it will cool a room. Unless you live where there are Urban Heat Islands** or in a desert, you can often keep the room cooler by closing opaque curtains or shades and leaving them closed for the entire day.
That was my first step in reducing the amount of energy that I saved. My next step was to purchase a variety of box fans and oscillating fans that I positioned strategically in different rooms in a manner to create cross ventilation. I discovered that using an oscillating fan by my bed at night also helps.
Although I do not have a ceiling fan in Delaware, I will have several in Florida. Therefore, I thought I would provide some useful information for those who do have ceiling fans and how to get them to work best to conserve energy. In the hottest months, make the blades of your ceiling fan run forward (counter-clockwise) so the air is distributed down, which will make you feel cooler. In the coldest months, reverse the direction of the fan blades (clockwise) so the blades draw the air up to the ceiling, which forces the warm air down and toward the walls (so you do not get chilled from air blowing directly on you).
** You can read all the details about what will happen as the world’s population continues to grow if steps are not taken to reduce Urban Heat Islands in the Millennials section of my website under Weather. However, as a quick reference, you can find out what is being done in your area by checking the EPA’s Heat Island Effect on the page titled: “Where You Live”.