How to keep your cooling bill down when the summer heats up

As high temperatures move in for the summer Floridians are looking for ways to stay cool.

New homeowner and owner of Central Florida Home Pros Residential Real Estate John MacFarlane is keeping the heat out of his Volusia County home by installing window films.

“The afternoon sun was extremely blazing and bright and you could just feel the heat pouring in through the windows,” MacFarlane said.

He hired Tint Man Incorporated to install the tint on his home windows.

“Basically from time change to time change [we’re] completely slammed,” said the company’s president, Shawn Mangrum.

Mangrum said his team installs window films on 5-10 residential and commercial properties every week and they stay busy installing tint on car windows every day.

“[The tint is] going to get rid of your radiant heat. The radiant heat is the heat around your windows. So window films can reject over 80 percent of that radiant heat,” Mangrum said. “Then you have infrared heat. That’s when the sun is coming directly through the windows, like if you’re eating dinner and you’re just uncomfortable, well you can get rid of the infrared heat by up to 98 percent.”

Mangrum said many people do not think about tinting home windows because of a common misconception.

“People think of tint and you have to go really dark. The darker you go, the more heat you cut out. That’s actually very untrue for both your home and vehicle.”

He said tinting can keep cars and homes cooler and lower power bills.

Duke Energy Florida Spokesperson Ana Gibbs said homeowners can make minor adjustments in their homes to keep it cool during the summer.

“We recommend during the summer you keep your AC at around 78 degrees.”

Gibbs said homeowners can lower their power bill by making the difference between the inside and outside temperatures as small as possible. She also recommends maintaining HVAC units and regularly changing the air filters.

Gibbs said only use ceiling fans when you are in a room. Using them could allow people to raise the thermostat by as much as four degrees. She recommends turning off the fan if you leave a room.
Duke Energy also recommends the following tips to stay cool during the summer:

● Close blinds and curtains on sunny days.
● If you have a whole-house fan, use it to pull cool air into your home at night or in the early morning through open windows. Turn the fan off and shut the windows during the day.
● Use bathroom and kitchen fans to remove heat and humidity caused by showering and cooking. (And take short showers instead of baths to save even more year-round.)
● Run your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer at night when it’s cooler. Run full loads. Consider air drying dishes and clothes to save even more.
● If you’re going on vacation, the Duke Energy energy slayer calculator can show you how much you’ll save (duke-energy.com/EnergyVampire) by unplugging appliances you’re not using while you’re away.

The Duke Energy Savings Calculator can show you how changing your thermostat saves you money.