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Keep your Home Cool

June 16, 2015Healthy Homes

As the temperature and humidity rise, we have to deal with the cost of cooling our homes. It is easy to turn on air conditioners to keep the temperature down, but we also know the consequences of burning those fossil fuels. Don’t be discouraged! There are ways to keep your home cool with environmentally friendly alternatives.

Ceiling fans

family room-sm One of the best ways to beat the heat is a ceiling fan, which can make a room feel about six to seven degrees cooler. Using a ceiling fan with an air conditioner enables you to raise your air conditioner settings by 12 degrees while keeping your home just as cool. Also, ceiling fans save money. According to statistics stated in a New York Times article that compared the cost of ceiling fans and air conditioning, a window AC unit costs about $50.40 per month while a ceiling fan costs only about $1.20 per month. Ceiling fans vary from cool and casual tropical – to cutting-edge contemporary designs, making them a great way to add unique character to your home.

Avoid external heat with shades, curtains and blinds!

blinds copy Shades, curtain and blinds are great way to reflect heat away from the house. Proper use of them can keep your house cool and your bills in check. According to the Department of Energy, smart management of window coverings can reduce heat gain up to 77%. In the same way, these can also reduce heat loss in the winter. Here are some great tips on beating the heat with shades, blinds, and curtains.

Reduce internal heat

The appliances, electronic devices, and lighting in your home are sources of internal heat. Avoid using lights and heat-generating appliances on hot days or during the hottest part of the day. Replacing bulbs with compact fluorescents or LED’s can be a solution as well.

Insulate your house!

Good insulation of your home can reduce your energy usage by 10% to 50% according to the US Department of Energy. As air naturally tends to move from warm areas towards colder areas, having good insulation can block cool air inside the house from moving towards the outside. Important areas to have insulated are the ceiling/attic, the walls and basement. Don’t forget crawl spaces and garages where insulation can be added to reduce heat loss! Here are some tips on where to insulate your home.

Reduce humidity

Humidity often makes a room air feel hotter. To reduce indoor humidity, turn on ventilating fans while showering or cooking. You may also want to use a dehumidifier if humidity has become a problem, or you live in a badly ventilated building. Dehumidifiers are commonly placed in basements, since they do not get a lot of direct sunlight, or in bathrooms without windows.

By Minhee Choi

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