When the dog days of summer roll around, turning on the AC is something we do to keep our homes cool and comfortable! But are there ways to save energy and not run our AC continuously? Read on for some tips on keeping the heat out of your home and naturally cool yourself without running up the hydro bills!
Shut the windows: During the hot summer months, the simplest thing you can do to keep a room cool is to make sure the windows are shut. For those of us who love the fresh air, this is a tough task — but trust us, it works. If the air outside is hotter than the air inside, keeping the windows shut will help the inside of your home, stay a little cooler.
Keep window covered with blinds or drapes during the day: Pull your curtains or close the blinds to block out direct sunshine. By covering your windows, you can reduce the total amount of heat coming into the home and this will prevent your AC system from having to work too hard.
About 76% of sunlight that enters your home through the windows turns into heat, it’s a good idea to keep your blinds drawn or your curtains closed. Consider thicker drapes with a white or grey-coated synthetic backing. Some people opt for blackout curtains to keep windows covered and block the sunlight out completely.
Open your windows at night if you can: Temperatures usually drop at night so open the windows before bed. The cooler air will circulate all night, allowing you to start fresh with a cool home in the morning. Don’t forget to shut the windows in the morning to keep the cool air in before it gets too hot outside.
Turn on your bathroom and kitchen fans: Your bathroom fans, as well as the exhaust fan in your kitchen, drag the hot air that rises and push it out of your home.
Set up your fan in the right place: Fans feel great by moving the air around or toward you but they don’t actually cool the air. Best to set up your fans in windows or hallways so you can create a cross breeze that will draw in cooler air from the outside (or a cooler part of the house) to the warmer areas.
Clean your air vents Your home likely has air vents that help to bring outside fresh air inside your house. Keeping your air vents clean and unclogged will improve air circulation. Air vents also help remove the hot air from inside and bring cold and fresh air from outside. This helps with bringing the temperature of the room down without much effort.
Stay cool while getting your zzz’s: Your natural body heat tends to warm up the bed and heat becomes trapped in the mattress – which is right underneath you! Consider using pillow and mattress cooling pads – even cooling mattresses are available now to make you more comfortable. Cotton sheets are the best for you as they will absorb moisture faster for the ultimate comfort. Partially fill a hot water bottle with water, pop it in the freezer, and place it at the foot of your bed.
Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise: In the summer, the fan blades should rotate counter-clockwise (as you look up at them) to push the air straight down. Increase the fan speed on really hot days.
Get rid of heat sources: Change your older lightbulbs. Incandescent bulbs waste an estimated 90 per cent of their energy in the heat they emit. Replace incandescent light bulbs with cooler (and more efficient) CFL or LED lights. Try not to use your oven throughout the day. You love take-out, right? Even washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers throw off heat, so do your chores at night!
Invest in a dehumidifier: If you live in a humid climate, the humidity can make the summer heat feel even worse. While a dehumidifier won’t reduce room temperature, it will help remove moisture from the air and get rid of that “sticky air” feeling!
When relative humidity reaches a high enough level, the body’s natural cooling system simply does not work as effectively.
You feel hotter because your sweat does not evaporate as quickly. So getting rid of humidity is key to comfort in the summer.
And don’t forget….
Throw some shade: Providing some shade for your outdoor AC condenser (without blocking airflow) will reduce the heat stress on your unit.
Save money and set the right temp on your AC: Save energy and cool your house by setting your air conditioner as close to the outside temperature as you can comfortably stand, supplementing with ceiling fans if needed
Consider ductless AC units to cool down those hard-to-reach rooms: If you live in a two-story home, you can consider installing a ductless AC unit on the top floor. Hot air rises and cool air will fall. Cooling the upstairs bedrooms can actually help the main floor – the cool air will gently fall to the lowest level. The airflow will improve inside your house as well.