While it’s tempting to turn on the AC or plant yourself in front of the nearest fan, these aren’t the only tricks to keeping cool. It turns out there are plenty of ways to buffer your home from the heat without racking up your electric bill.
A few tips to keep in mind….
1. Keep your blinds closed.
As simple as this tip may seem, up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and ushades, curtains and the like can save you up to 7 percent on your bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. In other words, closing the blinds essentially
revents your home from becoming a miniature greenhouse, which is especially the case for south- andwestfacing windows.
Closing doors off in certain rooms will prevent the cool air from permeating these areas during the hottest part of the day. You’ll want to take advantage of this on the cooler night hours, too, letting air flow naturally through your home.
Not even an air conditioner can give off a faux sea breeze….but try this. Fill a mixing bowl with ice or something equally cold, like an ice pack and position it at an angle in front of a large fan, so that the air whips off the ice at an extra-chilled, extra-misty temperature. Or place frozen water bottles in front of the fan. Trust us: it’s magic.
4. Change your sheets.
Not only does changing your bedsheets freshen up a room, it’s a great way to keep cool. While textiles like flannel sheets and fleece blankets are fantastic for insulation, cotton is a smarter move this time of year as it breathes easier and stays cooler.
5. Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
Whether you know it or not, your ceiling fan needs to be adjusted seasonally. Set counter-clockwise in the summer at a higher speed, the fan’s airflow will create a breeze that will make you and your guests “feel” cooler.
6. Turn on your bathroom and kitchen fans.
… the exhaust fan in your bath and kitchen pull the hot air that rises after you shower or cook out of your apartment.
7. Let the night air in.
During the summer months, temperatures drop during the night. Make the most of these hours by cracking the windows before you go to bed.
8. Ditch the incandescent lights.
If you ever needed motivation to make the switch to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps shown above) this is it. Incandescent bulbs (old style type) waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit, they get hot!! So tossing them to the curb will make a small difference in cooling your home while lowering your electric bill.
9. Start grilling.
It’s obvious, but we’re going to say it anyway: Using your oven or stove in the summer will make your house hotter. If it already feels like 100+ degrees in your home, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven.