Summer is almost upon us, and with the beach days and BBQ nights comes the constant struggle which is trying to keep our home cool. As the temperatures rise, the temptation to crank the AC is strong – how did our grandparents do it? But if you want to avoid astronomical energy bills, and to save our planet the extra air pollution, all you need to do is follow these simple tips.
Keep windows and blinds closed during the day, and open at night
While our first instinct on a hot day is to fling all windows open, that is only going to let in unwanted heat and transform our house in a miniature greenhouse. So make sure you keep windows and blinds closed during the day, especially if south facing – this alone might lower indoor temperatures by 20 percent. Once the sun goes down, feel free to open everything up, and let the fresh air in. If you have any portable or ceiling fans, you can turn them on to improve ventilation, so that you can say goodbye to sweaty and restless nights.
Turn off unnecessary lights and electronic equipment
This is pretty self-explanatory: lights and electronic equipment give off heat. So make sure you turn them off when not in use, and switch from incandescent bulbs to low energy ones where possible. Also choose to use appliances such as your washing machine and dish washer at night or early in the morning, when it’s cool outside and your windows are wide open.
Take the kitchen outside
Just like in the winter your stove and oven can be a comforting source of heat, they can quickly turn your house into a sauna in the summer. So stick to cool dishes that don’t involve any cooking, and if you do feel like hot foods, swap your oven for an outside grill. That will keep the heat outside from your house, and only help you get into that summer spirit.
Insulating your house properly is an investment, but it’s going to save you a lot of money all year-round. It your house is already insulated, check what the value of the insulation is (the higher the R value, the greater the insulation) and make sure you seal any leaks in doors and windows. Also consider planting trees or vines in your garden – they will not only add to the aesthetics, but shield your house from the sun rays, keeping it cooler in the hot summer months.
Make a DIY air conditioner
Who needs an air conditioner when you have a fan and a bowl of ice? Simply position a bowl – or pan – full of ice cubes in front of a fan, and enjoy the cool breeze as the air from the fan blows on the melting ice.