Rising summer temperatures also cause rising energy bills as people desperately try to cool their homes. Since going without air conditioning is a challenge many of us don’t want to face, here are some tips to keep your home cool this summer without breaking the bank.
Body temperature changes
When you’re out lying in the sun, your body is absorbing photons and heat. This heat causes your internal body temperature to rise. With the sun beating down on you, it takes more effort for your body to stay cool. As kids, our bodies are smaller so we don’t notice it as much. With larger adult bodies, it takes more energy to cool off. High temperatures and bigger bodies make it harder to keep a low body temperature. Even the slightest change in body temperature can affect your mood. People typically notice grumpiness, fatigue, and sleepiness after spending a few hours under the sun.
Close the blinds
We all enjoy relaxing under the warm rays of the summer sun but when they’re streaming into your home it can cause the temperature inside to heat up. Closing your curtains, blinds and window shades blocks out the sunlight and keeps your home cool. This is especially important to remember for the windows that face south and west where the sun can be strongest. This can save you up to 7 percent on your energy bills because your air conditioner will not need to work as hard to keep your home cool.
Close off the rooms that aren’t in use to limit air flow to these areas of the house. This is a great way to help you reduce your energy costs during the summer months. To avoid stuffiness, open all the doors when it’s much cooler at night at night.
Become a fan of fans
Get creative with your fan use by placing them strategically throughout your home. Fans can suck hot air out and blow cold air into your living spaces. Placing a bowl of ice or cold packs in front of a fan is an easy way to disperse chilled air. Adjust your ceiling fans seasonally. In the summer they should be rotating counterclockwise. Exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen pull the hot air away from your steamy showers and hot dinners.
Another way to save on your energy bill in the summer is to fire up the grill. There are endless ways for clever grilling. Cooking outdoors is a delicious way to spice up your summer meals but it can also keep your home cool. If you don’t own a grill, limit your oven use with meal prep. Prepare a week’s worth of food on a single night so you can keep the oven and stove turned off. Your oven and stove cook at temperatures well over 100 degrees. Limiting your oven use will lower the temperature in your house.
These are all great ways to keep the temperature inside your home low without suffering from a high energy bill, but they’re temporary fixes. If you want to really increase the energy efficiency of your home, there are simple changes you can make for year-long benefits.
Swap your incandescent light bulbs with LED ones. Incandescent lights emit a lot of their energy as heat. LED light bulbs are more efficient options because they emit more light and way less heat. They also last longer than traditional bulbs. Upgrade your windows to double-pane, ENERGY STAR windows to keep the hot air outside and the cold air inside. Install a new air conditioner system with a high efficiency rating.
The sun’s energy normally causes your energy bills to rise, but you can put that solar power to good use in your home. Solar panels use clean energy to help you reduce your energy costs all year long. This high-tech renewable resource has options for installation on the ground or on your roof. Tax credits and rebates combined with your annual energy savings makes solar panels a smarter choice when it comes to energy conservation.