The temperatures may be soaring but that doesn’t mean your electric bill needs to as well. Here are our top tips for keeping your home cool this summer.
Block the sun
Keep your blinds and curtains closed during the day, especially if you have an east- or west-facing window. Window coverings block the sun from heating up the room, essentially keeping it cooler. Installing a reflective film or solar screen on your windows will allow you to keep the sun from shining through while still being able to see through your windows. Plus, they’ll provide an additional layer of privacy.
Fans can be an effective tool to beat the heat. Place fans in front of or near windows to draw in the cooler evening air and push out the warmer inside air. If you need an extra cooling boost, place ice packs in front of your fans to blow refreshing air into the room. Have a ceiling fan? Reverse the fan’s direction counterclockwise to create more circulation.
When it gets hot, our first instinct is to open a window to let the air in. However, if the temperature is hotter outside than in your home, then you’re only letting in hot air. Instead, keep your windows closed until the evening hours when the air is cooler. When you do open your windows, you can use this ‘window tuning’ strategy to cool your home.
If you have a two-story home, try staying downstairs as much as possible. Because heat rises, the upstairs will be warmer than the rest of the house.
Cool down the kitchen
When temperatures are high, avoid adding more heat. Instead of using the stove or oven, try a no-cook meal or use energy-efficient appliances like the air fryer, Instant pot, microwave, or cook outside to avoid heating your kitchen. Hot weather also offers the best excuse to skip cooking altogether and order take-out from your favorite restaurant. When it’s time to do the dishes, wait until later in the night to turn on your dishwasher.
Change your bulbs
If you’re still using incandescent light bulbs, you’re adding more heat to your home. Save yourself a few degrees by switching to LED lights.
Strategically use air conditioning
It’s possible to use your air conditioning and still be eco-friendly. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your ac unit in the shade to keep it from overheating.
- Stay up to date on maintenance to keep it running efficiently.
- Clean or replace the filter
- Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re home and at least 85 degrees when you leave (or turn it off)
- Avoid big changes in temperatures. It takes your air conditioner more energy to cool the temperature by 5 degrees or more.
- Keep the air vents clear from obstructions
Cooling down your home during the summer can be expensive but these sustainable and eco-friendly tips can help you stay cool without breaking the bank.
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