Air conditioning can be expensive, but it’s necessary if you don’t want to spend your summer dripping with sweat. Even the most energy-efficient units can hike up the summer utility bill and do a number on your budget.

Although load cell and torque sensor units are designed to operate in a wide temperature range of -452 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, humans can’t function if we’re too hot. As such, you need to find ways to keep your home cool and comfortable this summer. But how can you accomplish that without spending a lot? As finance-minded people, we’ve put together some tips on keeping your home cooling bill low as temperatures get high.

Go Digital

There are many tools out there to add to your cooling system. Digital thermostats, for example, can keep costs low. Most digital or smart thermostats can be linked to your cell phone, allowing you to adjust the temperature in your home while you’re out. You can set it to a warmer temperature while you’re out of the house and then change it to a cooler temperature 20 minutes before you expect to get home. Even programmable thermostats can allow you to save money. You can set it to a higher temperature while you’re at work and program it to ramp down to a cooler temperature before you’re normally scheduled to get home. By setting your thermostat to be closer to the outside temperature, you’ll save money and extend the life of your air conditioning unit.

Insulate and Upgrade

It may seem counterintuitive to insulate a home against the heat, but it’s basically the same principle that keeps a picnic cooler at the right temperature. Since better technology comes along all the time, you may want to re-evaluate your current insulation. While insulation can seem like a large expense that you don’t need, it will save you money in the long run. An attic that is properly insulated can save you up to 50% on your heating and cooling bills — and that’s just the attic. Insulating crawl spaces and attics for the first time or upgrading old newspaper to modern insulation will provide immediate results.

If you’re upgrading your insulation, you should look at your windows and doors too. Yes, older-style windows have charm and character, but they also be drafty. As your home settles, you may have noticed gaps at the top or bottom of your doors; those gaps are definitely letting cool air out of your home. You can add weather stripping to doors that have sagged and clear caulking to seal up your windows. Alternatively, you could upgrade to new windows and have your door re-hung. These options will stop the money from walking out the door or blowing out your windows.

Reduce How Hard Your AC Works

When in doubt, turn to Mother Nature to keep cool. Consider planting some shady trees that will grow tall in time. Once they provide your home with shade, your air conditioning unit won’t have to work as hard due to the natural protection your home will get from the sun. Not only will mature trees reduce your costs in the long run, but well-maintained shrubs or trees can increase the value of your house by up to 14%. While your trees are growing, try to create other kinds of shade and circulate air inside your home. Start with ceiling fans that can help move cool air around passively and then look for heavy curtains to block out light during the brightest hours of the day.

It’s not always easy to keep costs low when temperatures soar. Going digital, insulating your home, growing trees, and using ceiling fans can really help keep your summer cooling costs in line with your budget.

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