There’s no escaping summer. It is so hot outside that we are tempted to turn the air-con on, deliberately ignoring how it reflects on our next electric bill. It’s either we endure the high electricity costs or we look for alternative ways to keep our home cool this summer. Surely, you’d choose the second option. Let’s not get hot under the collar with these smart tips.
About 30% of the heat we feel inside our homes creeps through the windows. Use curtains or blinds to lower the indoor temperature to lower the indoor temperature. This can save you up to 7% on your bill. Also, keep the doors closed on rooms that receive the most heat during the day to contain the coldness in the area where you need it most. Keep the windows open during nighttime to let the cool air in.
Instead of turning the air-conditioning on, you may use a misting fan. If you aren’t comfortable with the additional investment, you may DIY. Place a bowl of ice in front of your electric fan. The fan will blow chilly and misty air that is also effective in keeping the heat at bay, by up to 4 degrees cooler. Turn the exhaust fan too to force the hot air out. Do it for 15 to 20 minutes every 3 hours.
Save your fleece blankets on cold December nights. Use bedsheets and blankets made from breathable fabrics instead. Cotton will keep you cooler at night. You may also use linen sheets and pillowcases, but they won’t be as soft and comfortable as cotton. Make sure that you are wearing weather-appropriate clothes, too.
If you are not using it, you should turn the light off. This is especially true if you are using incandescent lights which consume up to 90% of the heat they actually emit. Or, you may replace them with CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LEDs (light-emitting diodes). These are much cooler, which also means they can lower the bill.
The same goes for our electric appliances. Even if you turn it off, these appliances still generate heat. If you are not using any of them, you might as well unplug it. Or, you may use a power strip (or surge protector) to power off the equipment completely.
Indoor plants, aside from giving out the oxygen we need and absorbing carbon dioxide, also purify the air naturally. Hence, move some of your outdoor plants and put them on the corners. Better yet, place them in places where they can absorb most heat such as the window sills. They also need it.
Energy-efficiency improvements inside our home need not be costly. The simple tricks discussed above aim to keep the outdoor heat outside while keeping indoor air cooler. And, without the skyrocketing electric bills!