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How to Keep Your Madison Apartment Cool and Your Utility Costs Low

Published on June 4th, 2012
By Jennifer Oppriecht

Summer is just arriving in Madison, and already the temperatures are pushing into the 90s.  Beastly midwestern humidity can’t be far behind, which is why we put together some ways you can keep your apartment cool without spending a ton on utilities.  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Keep those windows covered.  Hopefully, your apartment comes with some heavy drapes or blinds.  Nothing heats up an interior like sunlight streaming through a window.  If aesthetics isn’t an issue, draping a heavy blanket over the window can help block out the sun.  You may also consider using window tinting film, which blocks out UV rays and can reduce cooling costs by up to 30%.
  2. Set temperatures higher when you leave or go to bed.  If you’re running the air conditioner, raise the temperature up to about 78 or 80 degrees when you go to bed or leave the apartment.  Ideally, you’ll have a programmable thermostat in the apartment.  Program it so when you’re asleep, the temperature rises automatically.
    If you have air conditioner, set your fan on “On” rather than “Auto.”  Instead of only operating the fan when the air conditioner kicks in, set it on “on” all the time.  This will circulate air throughout the apartment.
  3. Become a fan of fans.  Fans aren’t of real benefit when the humidity gets thick in Wisconsin, but they’re a much more cost-effective way to circulate air and keep you cool.
  4. Dress down, take a bath, stay hydrated.  It should go without saying that you want to wear loose clothing, right?  You may also want to jump into a cool bath or shower to lower your body temperature.  Those may be obvious, but the one thing many people forget to do is stay hydrated.  Keep some ice water nearby, and sip often.
  5. Check your vents.  You’d be surprised how many times we see people plop a big couch in front of an air conditioning vent.  Make sure your vents are unobstructed.
  6. Easy on the audio equipment. If you’re a big fan of a mammoth stereo system and a desktop PC, then understand this stuff generates a lot of heat.  Try and turn off these components when they’re not being used.
  7. Check in with the utility company.  You may also want to call your utility company and check on the costs from the previous year.  If they start to spike, you’ll know that there may be a problem with your air conditioning unit.

Follow these tips, and keep those air conditioning bills from piling up!

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