As the temperature and humidity rises, so does the cost of cooling our homes. It’s easy to turn on air conditioners to keep the heat 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. Here are a few.
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.
Ceiling fans save money, too. According to an article in The New York Times 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 to cutting-edge contemporary designs, making them a great way to add unique character to your home.
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 light bulbs with compact fluorescents or LEDs can make a difference, too.
A well-insulated home can reduce your energy usage significantly—by 10% to 50%, according to the Department of Energy. As air naturally tends to move from warm areas toward colder areas, good insulation can block cool air inside the house from moving outside.
Important areas to have insulated are the ceiling, attic, walls, and basement. And don’t forget crawl spaces and garages where insulation can be added to reduce heat loss!
Shades, curtain and blinds are effective and cost-efficient ways to reflect heat away from the house. Proper use 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.
Humidity often makes the air in a room feel hotter. To reduce indoor humidity, turn on ventilating fans while showering or cooking.
You could also use a dehumidifier if humidity becomes a problem or if you live in a poorly ventilated building. Dehumidifiers are commonly placed in basements, since they do not get a lot of direct sunlight, or in bathrooms without windows.