SENIOR FINANCE TIPS FOR LOWERING A/C EXPENSE

Jul 8th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

Senior Concern About Summer Heat

Senior Citizen Journal recently cautioned senior citizens about managing heat in the summer to avoid health issues.  The flip side of this coin is concern about escalating costs with the air conditioner running so much.  The good news is that seniors can do little things around the house to help keep those cooling costs down.  Here are some suggestions:

  • If you have an east or west exposure that lets a lot of sun and heat in the house, cover those windows.  A simple solution is to draw the curtains or close the blinds.  A more permanent answer is to install window awnings on the outside of the house or apply a tinting product to the windows to diminish sunlight entering the room.  Many seniors building or buying homes nowadays look for north/south exposures with roof overhangs wide enough to shade the windows no matter the season.
  • Limit use of electrical products that raise heat in the house. Keep lights off when you can.  Try to limit your use of the stove and oven.  Use a grille instead (outdoor or small counter-top type), or a small toaster oven that uses and produces less heat.

Seniors Keep Cooling Costs Down

  • Use fans to circulate air. Ceiling fans are great.  If you don’t have them or cannot have them easily installed, use oscillating fans that move the air in the room.  We enjoy a rather large one on a stand that both oscillates and is raised off the floor several feet to create better air circulation.
  • A wet cloth around your neck will keep you cooler no matter where you are.  Rinse it occasionally during the day and cool it down with cold water or a few ice cubes.  Amazing what it does to cool down your body temperature.
  • If you notice a breeze outside during the day, open windows and hang wet cloths (cut into strips) in them to catch the breeze and cool down the temperature.
  • Cold showers, swimming pools, lawn sprinklers are all good options for cooling down.  One of our favorite childhood memories is visiting our aging great-aunt and running through her sprinkler in summer, with her and her very-old-fashioned bathing suit!  It was always an end-of-day treat for us.
  • Be sure you have your home shaded with trees that grow well in your climate.  There’s really nothing like a few good shade trees to keep house temperatures under control.

Keeping air conditioning costs down is a major concern for seniors living on fixed incomes.  We need cool air for our health, but we don’t have unlimited income to spend cooling it down.  Kind of a Catch-22 sometimes.  Leave your comments and let us know your favorite keeping cool tool for summer heat!



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