These summer months call for air conditioners being on all the time. The heat turns the house into an oven and causes the electricity bill to go through the roof. While conditioners are lifesavers, there are a few things that can be done to keep the house cool and save a little on both money and electricity.
Blinds: Inexpensive mini blinds or curtains are the best for reducing the sunlight and heat streaming in through your windows. Make sure the blinds or the curtains are white on the side facing outside. Solar sunscreens or window films are other great options that will reduce the heat coming through the windows.
Cooling Lights: Incandescent light bulbs (yellow lights) can significantly heat up the rooms. Instead replace them with high-efficiency, low-heat bulbs CFL (compact fluorescent lights) or LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs. Turn them off when not needed.
Cook Wisely: Use the microwave for cooking as much as possible to minimize indoor heat. You could also cook the previous night and cold store it for use the next day. If you have to cook extensively follow these tips:
• Cover the pots and pans to minimize indoor humidity
• Use range hoods or microwave vent fan to vent the hot air outside
• Keep the exhaust fan at all times when you cook and open the kitchen and living room windows so that the heat has an escape route.
Electronics: TV’s, computers, and other electrical devices generate quite a bit of heat when sitting idle or even when turned off, so unplug them when not in use.
Use fans: A paddle ceiling fan or a portable fan uses less energy than air conditioner, but they are only effective when you’re in the room to feel the cooling. As much as an AC is effective, using it less is advised.
Cold water: Turn off the hot water heater down and switch to cold water as it will keep your mind and body cool. Hot showers create lot of excess heat and humidity in the house.
• Take shorter showers to reduce humidity and heat.
• Switch on the bathroom exhaust while bathing and keep it running for 20 mins afterward, to reduce heat.