Many homeowners take air conditioning for granted, but eliminating or at least lowering your A/C usage will save you a significant amount of money. Cooling our homes during the summer heat releases up to 140 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Home cooling also makes up 5 percent of the total energy consumed annually in the U.S. Here are some useful tips to cool your home without using A/C:
- Draw your shades. Close your shades or blinds during the day, particularly on the side of your house that receives the most direct sunlight. By blocking the sun’s direct rays, you’ll help your home to stay cool and comfortable.
- Open your windows at night. Depending on where you live, night temperatures may still be mild. At night, turn off the A/C and open a few windows. Your bank account -and Mother Nature- will thank you.
- Insulate and caulk. Adding insulation and sealing leaks around windows with caulk will help to keep cool air in your home. Even if you can’t cut your A/C completely during the day, you’ll be able to comfortably turn it up a few degrees.
- Eliminate incandescent bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs not only cost more to operate than fluorescent bulbs; they also throw off a great deal of heat. Switch over to fluorescent to save on energy costs and to keep your home a few degrees cooler.
- Make sure ceiling fans are spinning counter-clockwise. When your fans are spinning counter-clockwise, they do a much better job of circulating cool air. Likewise, in the winter, you can run your fans clockwise to push down warm air. Look for a small switch on the side of your ceiling fan that will alter its spin according to the season.
- Avoid using your oven and stovetop for cooking. Summer is the perfect time to use an outdoor grill or to make use of a pressure cooker, rice cooker or slow cooker. When you turn your oven or stovetop on, you pour a great deal of heat into your kitchen.
- Plant some trees. While planting some trees may not help you this season, they will help to provide shade for your home once they grow more mature. Additionally, trees will help to reduce the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere. Plant them on the side of your house that receives the most sunshine for maximum effect.
- Keep yourself cool. Make sure to dress for the heat. Wear organic cotton shorts or capri pants with short-sleeved shirts and tank tops. Drink cool beverages like ice water, lemonade or iced tea. Also, keep a cool towel handy to dab your forehead and the inside of your wrists. You’ll be surprised how much these personal care tips will help you to cope with the heat.
Fortunately, you can keep your home cool in the summer without turning down the thermostat. Follow the above tips to save money and also help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
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