The heat of the summer is on, and you may be thinking it’s time to put the AC units in the windows and hunker down in the shade. But wait — there are alternatives! Keep your electricity bill low while keeping your house fresh and environmentally friendly this summer with our 7 energy efficient ways to keep your home cool.
Skip the AC, Increase the Airflow
In many cities, the biggest barrier to comfort is stagnant, humid air. Air conditioners remove some humidity and get the air moving, both of which can be done without the expensive noise of cooling the entire house. Create cross-ventilation by opening windows and placing fans at both ends of your house or apartment, with one fan facing inward and one facing outward to draw the air through. If you have a basement, use a dehumidifier to draw the humidity out of the air and keep the basement cooler and more resistant to mold. That will keep the ground floor cooler and prevent the growth of unhealthy or toxic mold during those damp summer months.
Use Cool Nights to Your Advantage
In many areas, the evenings cool down to a wonderfully comfortable temperature. Use that time to flush the hot, stagnant air out of the house and draw cooler night air in, then close the windows when the temperatures start to climb again to keep the cool air in.
Keep the Sun Out
There are many ways to prevent the sun from turning your home into an oven in the first place. The easiest? Close the blinds during the heat of the day. Just preventing that passive solar heating can do a lot to keep the temperature down in your home, particularly if you choose white blinds or the more high-tech sunshades to reflect the light without completely blocking your view. Structurally, adding awnings or shutters can also do a lot to reduce the impact of the sun, while planting a tree on the west or south side of your home will (eventually) create a lovely, earth friendly sun shade. Get planting as soon as you move in for a fun, creative moving hack.
Tune Up Your Personal AC
There is a reason that nomadic tribes in hot climates wear light, flowy clothing and tend to avoid spicy food. How you take care of your clothing and diet can impact how you handle the heat. Light, loose clothing made of natural fabrics will keep you cooler and feel fresh while avoiding spicy foods in favor of fresh salads or more savory flavors will keep your internal thermostat dialed down.
Nobody likes firing up the oven when it’s already hot outside. Use a barbecue to cook as much as you can, or prepare things in a toaster oven or on the stovetop when possible. Better yet? Use this season as an inspiration to get creative with your salads, fruits, and smoothies to keep your body fueled with fresh foods.
Turn Off the Heat
Believe it or not, things like incandescent light bulbs and televisions can create a significant amount of heat over time. Clothing dryers are another more obvious source of heat, and you can keep your electricity bill low in summer by choosing to air dry your clothes as much as possible.
Bring the Furniture Outdoors
When the evenings start to cool down, or even in the calm of early morning, it can be a sweet relief to enjoy your coffee or dinner outside with the comforts of a patio table and chairs. Gatherings can take place outside under shady trees or umbrellas, keeping the body heat from steaming up your home or apartment. If you’re a city dweller with a balcony, a shade screen hung properly can provide you with a breezy spot for hangouts without being subjected to direct sunlight.
Moving this season? Stay cool with our tips for moving in summer, and hire one of the best moving companies so they can sweat it out while you sip on something chilled.