Energy costs usually rise in summer because of dependence on air conditioning and electric fans. Many homeowners retreat inside to avoid the heat, but then feel confined in their homes and restricted to indoor activities. This can lead to fatigue, sluggishness, and an overall disillusionment with what's supposed to be a great season. Today, we'll discuss some easy, cost-effective ways to keep your home cool this summer.
Perform Basic Maintenance
One of the best ways to save money is maintaining the cooling sources you already have. Business experts say about 55% of summer energy bills go to cooling, so it's vital that your air conditioner undergoes a maintenance check about once a year. This includes cleaning the filters and ensuring grilles aren't straining to circulate air. You should also change your air filters frequently, and make sure you're buying filters that last three months or more for optimum money-saving.
Block the Sun
This might seem counter-intuitive, especially since sunlight is physically and emotionally healthy. If you have large rooms with big windows that let in too much sun, however, your house will heat up quickly, increasing your reliance on air conditioning. Consider investing in ultraviolet window treatments for your home and your vehicle; these will keep you and your family comfortable and safe, especially on car trips. Use blinds or shades to block the sun during the hottest part of the day, around 12:00-3:00 PM.
Use Cool Decor
The decor you choose can do more than you think to evoke coolness. For example, choose pillows and linens made from lightweight fabrics including cotton blends, rayon, and nylon. (Despite its reputation for coolness, avoid silk, especially in pillows, the weight of the human head can heat silk quickly). Use plenty of neutrals and calming colors such as turquoise, indigo, mint, and sea green. Spend as much outdoor time as possible in a shaded area, such as a deck with a comfortable chaise lounge or chairs.
Turn Off Your Appliances
Almost everyone knows this trick, but few people actually do it. Financial experts agree that using a microwave instead of an oven will both save money and keep you much cooler during mealtimes. Go ahead and grill as much as you like â€“ the exposure to fresh air will cool you down and make your food taste better. Consider drying your clothes on a clothesline as much as the weather permits, and avoid running your dishwasher unless you have a full load.