Summertime has arrived and children all across the country are rejoicing at the thought of summer vacation. Adults, on the other hand, may have other thoughts in mind.
One thing that does come with the summer heat is trying to find ways to stay cool. When you are not outside swimming or hanging at the beach, you are probably inside of your air-conditioned house. And, while you are, you need to find ways to save energy.
That is all fine and dandy until the electric bill arrives and you see the astronomical cost to run your cooling unit. There must be some better alternatives to keep the cool in and the heat out. In today’s blog, we are going to explore some ways to save some money and stay cool all summer long.
Unplug the Sockets
This may sound like a strange way to save money, but heat is being produced by all your outlets when they are being plugged into. This provides a quick, little way to keep the house cool by unplugging anything that is not currently being used.
And, just because it isn’t turned on doesn’t mean heat isn’t coming out. Believe it or not, it is! So, take a field trip around your house and see what little heat plugs you can remove to begin the process of saving money and cooling down your house.
Give Your Oven a Break
Now, this may be a bit more challenging as we all need to eat. However, if you can go outside and use the grill, that is a better option to keep the heat outside. Or, if you need to cook inside, try to utilize a crock pot or a microwave. The oven releases a large amount of heat into your house, which will cause the cooling units to go into overdrive.
If you do have to use the oven, try to find times during the day when the temperature outside is cooler. You may want to pre-plan your meals and cook first thing in the morning and just reheat using a microwave later in the evening.
Utilize Your Ceiling Fans
There is nothing more satisfying than when you are dripping with sweat and you sit down to feel air just blowing right on you. It also produces a bit of a calming sound to help you nap!
If you don’t currently have any, you may want to consider purchasing large ceiling fans. This is a nice way to give the air conditioner a break, while still enjoying the refreshing, cool air.
One thing to keep in mind when using a ceiling fan is to take note of the switch located on the main apparatus. When you want to feel the cool air, turn the switch so that the fan is turning in a counter-clockwise direction. This pushes the cool air down. In the winter months, you will want to change the switch to go in the other direction so that the fan will blow air around the room but not directly on you.
Beautify Your Landscape with Some Shade
Depending on your housing set up, this may not be an option for everyone. If you can plant some trees around your house, this could help provide some shade on your home and keep you cool. A tree that is fully blossomed can block more than 70% of the radiation that heats up your house.
Sitting outside underneath one of the trees can feel a temperature reduction of up to 40 degrees as compared to sitting on your hot driveway. The shade will help to provide up to a 10-degree difference in your house, which can be very impactful. Check out some of the best heat tolerant trees that you can plant in your yard this year.
Fight Against the Humidity
The most difficult portion of dealing with a lot of heat is the humidity that comes along with it. Walking around in wet and sticky clothes can be intolerable at times. There are a few ways that you can try to fight off the humidity.
For one, make sure you are wearing light colored clothes that are made of cotton or other breathable fabric. Give yourself a chance to feel somewhat cooler by making smart clothing choices.
You can also purchase and use a dehumidifier in your house. This will get rid of the excess moisture in the air. It may be a little costly on the electric bill, but it will be cheaper than running your A/C Unit.
When you are sleeping at night, try to have sheets that allow you to breathe. Trying to sleep in sheets that are trapping the heat can make a for a long and sleepless night.
Keep Your Lights Off
During the day and into the early evening, try to keep your lights off as much as you can. Take advantage of the natural summer light that will explode through your windows. You can also replace those old light bulbs with LED lights. This is better on the environment because of its energy efficiency, as well as keep your house cooler than your traditional lights.
If you haven’t switched to LED lights, now might be the time to do so. Many programs across the country offer energy efficiency programs and either install these lights for free or offer you rebates. It’s a win-win no matter how you look at it.
Shut Your Blinds
Many people have a hard time with this because they enjoy having the natural light enter their home, but sometimes when the heat is unbearable, you may have to say goodbye to the light for the day. A large portion of unwanted heat comes through the windows. It is estimated that keeping the blinds closed can help to cool your home by up to 20 degrees, which will also save you money on your electric bill.
If you are still having a hard time thinking about shutting your shades, picture your house as a greenhouse. The reason there is no shade all the way around a greenhouse is because it needs to attract the light and the heat. If you don’t shade your home, it will act the same way.
Close Unused Rooms
If you are going to use your cooling unit, don’t make it work harder by cooling rooms that are not in use. You should do this at night as well when the temperature will be at its coolest level. Let the cool air circulate around the areas where you most want it to. The more you can naturally let the air flow in your home, the better.
Speaking of Night Air…
Night time is the perfect time to crack the windows open a bit. If you see on the news that the temperatures will be considerably lower at night, this would be the ideal time to let the cool air flow through your house.
You could even place your fans close to the window to help draw in the breeze and spread it throughout the room. This is a great way to get a good night’s sleep and wake up to a cool house in the morning. Just be sure to close those windows before the heat really starts to pick up again or it will quickly pull all that air back outside.
Keep the TV Off
Trying to go long periods of time with the TV off is a good idea in general. In the summer, you will want your kids outside as much as possible and in the pool, if you have one. But, the TV produces a tremendous amount of heat and can really mess with your air flow in the house. Be sure to keep it away from the air conditioner or your thermostat because it will trick it by thinking there is more heat than really exists. This could be a perfect excuse to keep the TV off all day long!
If you really want to fight the heat, you could be bold and paint your roof. The attic is the hottest area of your home and extremely difficult to keep cool. If you paint your roof white, it will help to reflect the heat away from your home. You could have a really cool looking roof, too!
Enjoy Your Summer
Plan day trips and other adventures that may take you to cooler areas anyway, allowing you to keep your house free from using a lot of electricity. The more you can spend outside of the home, the more you’ll be able to save. But, if you are home quite frequently, try to implement some of these cooling tips to save some energy and some money.
Don’t let the summer heat slow you down from making this the best summer of your life!