There are two times in the year when a lot of us brace ourselves for what our energy bills are going to look like: winter and summer. In the wintertime, we’re doing all that we can to keep warm and during the summer months, it’s just the opposite; the colder we are, the better.
If you’ve already surrendered yourself to the fact that you should expect to spend a hundred (or even two hundred) more dollars during June, July and August, that doesn’t have to be your reality. We actually have five ways that you can keep your home cool, without depending on your air conditioner.
1. Get some heat-reflecting curtains. One of the first things that you should do is go to your local K-Mart or Target to get some heat-reflecting curtains. They are specifically designed to reflect heat away from your home and they are especially beneficial if you make sure to close them on the south and west facing windows during daylight hours. If you have a flair for home dÃ©cor, you can also make some of your own. Just go to Lifehacker and put “Do It Yourself Heat Blocking Curtains” in the search field.
2. Use your fans more. A lot of us have ceiling fans or even portable ones, but we don’t think to use them nearly as much as we should. Turning on your fans are going to require much less energy than cranking up your air conditioner. In extremely warm climates, you might even want to look into purchasing a whole house fan or evaporative cooler. They will run you anywhere between $150-400 but they can reduce the amount of energy that you use with your air unit by about one-third.
3. Be more “energy aware.” Many things that require energy within the home can also raise the overall temperature within the house. So, make sure to do simple things. Use the microwave more than your oven. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Use your washer and dryer and washing machine only when you have full loads (and opt to air dry your dishes if possible). Install some compact florescent light bulbs (they use one-fifth less energy than standard bulbs do). And make sure to take showers rather than long baths. It will cool you off just as quickly without using as much water in order to do so.
4. Adjust your bedding. Say that your air conditioner goes out and when you contact Conroe Air Conditioning (or an air conditioning company in your area), they say that it will take them a week (or two) in order to come out. Most of us will agree on the fact that while it can be uncomfortable to be hot during the daytime, lots of heat can make you absolutely miserable at night. A couple of things that you can do to make it more bearable is to use satin or silk bedding; it feels smoother and keeps you cooler as you sleep. Also, put your pillowcases and socks in a plastic bag and then place them in the freezer 1-2 hours before you turn in. When your head and feet are cool, it helps to cool down the rest of your body too.
5. Drink more water. It’s simple, really. The more hydrated our bodies are, the cooler we will feel. The great thing about summer is that you don’t have to limit water to simple a glass of H2O. Make some tea. Buy some pop cycles. Or have some mineral water with lemon or lime slices. Just make sure that you’re drinking plenty of fluids. Your body (including your body’s temp) will thank you for it. All summer long.