Air conditioners are wonders of modern engineering. But they can be a big drain on your budget. They are also a drain on natural resources, ultimately adding to the crisis of global warming.
Want to stay cool, save money and be environmentally friendly? Here are 12 ways you can keep your home cool without running up the air conditioning bill.
#1. Close your drapes and blinds. During the day, keep your drapes and blinds closed to prevent sunlight, and its heat, from getting in. Almost 30% of a home’s heat comes in through the windows. By covering up your windows, you can reduce the temperature at the hottest times of the day up to 20 degrees. This is especially true for south and west facing windows.
#2. Let in cool air. At night, open your windows. During morning and evening hours, the cooler parts of the day, open up doors too. This lets breezes in, which lets air flow through.
#3. Keep interior doors open. This keeps the air flowing throughout the house. The more you keep the air flowing freely, the lower the temperature in your home.
#4. Use fans. These devices cool people, not your rooms. They feel good because the air they send evaporates sweat, which is cooling. They also move heat away from your body. For the best effect, keep fans trained on people and pets and don’t run them in empty rooms.
#5. Put a bowl of ice in front of your fan. This chills the breeze that the fan creates. It won’t cool the entire room, but it can make your reading break on the sofa much more comfortable. Another good approach is to wrap ice in a towel and put it around your neck or even on top of your head.
#5. Turn off and unplug. Electrical equipment and lights give off heat. By turning off your light fixtures and unplugging kitchen appliances and electronic devices when not in operation, you stop them from using electricity, which in turn generates heat. Even small amounts add up.
#6. Run appliances at night. Do the laundry and run the dishwasher late at night. All appliances give off heat, especially washers, dryers and dishwashers. So it makes sense to operate them in the cooler hours.
#7. Use the grill. Cook outside as much as possible. This reduces the amount of heat the stove and oven contribute to heating up the house. And consider eating more meal size salads!
#8. Plant trees and shrubs for shade. An appropriately placed piece of greenery will shade your house. Vines can also be effective (call us if you need any assistance with your landscaping projects).
#9. Install awnings. These attractive additions to your home’s exterior can reduce the amount of heat that enters through a window by over 65%. As the top-rated general contractor in Farmville, we can help you with any additions to the exterior of your home, including awnings and decks.
#10. Use the bathroom fan. Leave it running 20 to 30 minutes after you finish your shower or bath so it has time to pull out the hot air created. This will help keep your home cool.
#11. Try a lukewarm or cold shower. There is no better way to lower your body temperature quickly than a cold, or even barely warm, shower.
#12. Sleep downstairs. Do you have a basement? That’s the place to sleep in summer. You will get a much better night’s rest the lower you are because heat rises.
With a few easy changes to your routine and your home environment, you can reduce your need for the air conditioner and still keep your home cool. Your budget and the environment will thank you.