During extremely hot summer days, you’re likely spending way too much to keep your home cool. There are a number of ways to make your home energy efficient – that don’t require calling a professional or investing in an expensive HVAC unit replacement – that you can do right now. And most homeowners don’t take easy, energy-saving steps because they simply don’t know exactly what to do. Even if you’ve never put any effort into improving the efficiency of your home, here are the best ways to help your home today so you don’t have to sweat your electricity bill later.
Shut your blinds and curtains
If you have blinds or curtains on your windows that face south or west, make sure its shut during the day to keep the sun from warming your home. Buying energy efficient curtains is the ideal long-term options for the most energy savings, but even traditional curtains will help block some of the heat from the sun and save you money now. And if you don’t have curtains, hang a light colored blanket in the windows of the rooms you occupy the most. This temporary fix will help you keep cool through the extreme summer temperatures.
How to use your ceiling fan correctly
Fans work by blowing air across your skin so that it evaporates your sweat, because the evaporation of sweat is how your body cools itself. A common air conditioning myth is that fans will cool rooms that are unoccupied. It won’t. So gather your family in the room with a ceiling fan. If you have portable fans, turn those on and keep them close to you. Also, be sure that ceiling fans are rotating counter-clockwise to maximize air circulation. Clockwise-spinning fans will just push hot air from the ceiling downwards, which is the opposite of what you want during the summer. When used properly, ceiling fans can earn you big savings in the summer.
Wear light-fitting, cotton clothes
Cotton clothes are lightweight and allow air to easily flow through them, which keeps you cool by evaporating your sweat. Cotton clothes are also usually lighter colored as well, which reflects light off of your clothes, keeping you cooler.
When you are dehydrated, your body holds onto heat longer. Water helps your body regulate its core temperature. By drinking plenty of water on hot days, you will feel cooler because your body expels heat faster. Ice water will also temporarily lower your core body temperature, which can provide quick relief when you’re feeling extremely hot and prevent you from needing to lower the thermostat quite as much.
Do not cook inside
It’s summer grilling season – take advantage of it. Your oven and stove emit a lot of heat when you’re cooking, so be sure to keep it off on really hot days, because your air conditioner will have to work extra hard to keep your home cool. Instead, get outside and fire up the grill. We’ve even put together a list of ways to make grilling more efficient and help the environment.
Use LED light bulbs and turn off incandescent and CFL light bulbs
LED bulbs use the least amount of energy and don’t heat the room. Incandescent and CFL bulbs are less efficient and turn up the heat in your house. Ninety-five percent of the electricity used by an incandescent light bulb is turned into heat. So even if you don’t want to run out and buy new bulbs, at the very least you can do now is keep these hot bulbs off during the day in order to keep your home cooler.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve taken the proper steps to improve the efficiency of your home, implementing the above practices will help you feel more comfortable and reduce your cooling costs during hot summer days. If you perform these techniques, you should be able to raise your thermostat by a few degrees and still feel comfortable. As for a more long-term option to earn huge savings, make sure you schedule an annual air conditioning maintenance appointment.