SACRAMENTO, Calif. — There are no avoiding heatwaves in the late spring and summer but planning ahead can save you power and money.
One of the biggest ways to save is by limiting the opportunity to let hot air into your cooler home. Keep windows and doors closed as long as possible.
If you are running your air conditioning overnight you have already spent that money, so don't let the cool air out.
Shades and drapes can reflect sunlight and limit heating as well.
One popular option to stay cool is a whole house fan. It can be effective but only use when you know the air outside is cooler and during heatwaves. That tends to be very late in the evening, or very early in the morning.
The next thing you should think about is the warming inside your home. Using your oven to cook should be limited during a heatwave.
Electric ovens use much more power than a microwave. They also take a long time to warm up and cool down and that will force your air conditioning to work longer and harder. Adding extra heat should be limited.
Finally, you will at some point need to use power to cool down. A ceiling fan uses much less energy than air conditioning but only works in one location at a time.
A fan works by moving air away from your body. Your body generates heat 24 hours a day. Moving air takes it away from your skin and allows you to feel cooler.
Fans can be very helpful, but the most efficient fans have larger longer blades and operate at lower speeds.
Small bladed fans need to spin faster to move the same amount of air and that motor generates heat.
If there is a huge contrast in temperatures in a room from floor to ceiling, a fan can help mix the air and even out the temperature. A fan does not add cooler air, it can only move air.
A fan is only really useful when you or your pets are in the room to benefit from the cooling effect of air moving away from your body. One way to save money is to only use fans when you are in the room.
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