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Fig's Series on Lowering Your Electric Bill: Part 3 of 5

Posted on: 19 July 2017

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Summer’s here, and with it comes sun, heat, and of course, high electricity bills. But they don’t always have to be quite so high! Fig has come up with a 5 part series of practical tips to help lower your electric bill.

  1. 4 Ways to Save Electricity at Home
  2. Housekeeping Hacks to Lower Your Electric Bill
  3. 4 Cheaper Alternatives to Air Conditioning
  4. How to Use Your Window Cooling Unit Efficiently
  5. Easy Ways to Make Your Air Conditioner More Efficient

Air conditioning, while nice, isn’t the be-all and end-all of cooling down. You should always consider some alternatives.

1. Use a Fan

Air conditioning is nice, but it’s also expensive. Fans, on the other hand, help you stay cool without breaking the bank - and they’re much cheaper to buy than an air conditioner as well.

2. Swamp Cooling

For those of us who live in the drier parts of Texas, swamp cooling (also called evaporative cooling) is a low cost and creative option for keeping the temperature down without resorting to air conditioning. Swamp cooling works by evaporating water, which absorbs heat as it turns into water vapor. In a dry environment, like you’ll find in Western or Northern Texas, this will cool your home in exchange for a slight rise in humidity.

Electrically powered swamp coolers are available for a similar cost to air conditioners, but cost much less to run. You can also invest in a water misting fan, which does the same thing. Or, if you want a more DIY solution, you can get a swamp cooling effect simply by putting a bowl of water or tray of ice in front of a fan.

There are other, even more creative ways to use swamp cooling for the adventurous. Spraying water on closed curtains during a sunny day will take the edge off of the sun’s warmth, for example - although I’d make sure that the curtains can dry first.

3. Chill Your Pillow

It’s often most difficult to keep cool while we’re sleeping. Not only do sheets and pillows retain heat, lying down makes it more difficult for air to flow over our bodies and carry heat away. One cool thing you can do to make yourself more comfortable at night is to put your pillow in the refrigerator or freezer before bedtime, and then take it out so that your head is comfortable. Although, because of condensation, it might be a good idea to put your pillow in a plastic bag before doing this.

4. Let Natural Nighttime Temperatures Cool Down Your House

In most parts of Texas, summertime temperatures at night are cool enough to be comfortable for most people, particularly if you live in the Northern or Western part of the state. Even if you don’t, though, the day-night change in temperature makes it worth opening your windows and night and closing them early in the morning instead of running air conditioning.

5. Cold Showers

Cold showers might be the stuff of nightmares, but anyone who’s ever tried one on a truly hot day will find that it’s just what the doctor ordered. The cooling effect of a cold shower will last well after the shower itself. Cool showers use a lot of water, to be sure, which can be expensive, but it’s cheaper than air conditioning.

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