Summer is finally here, along with the rising temperature. It’s easy to succumb into temptation and turn on the air conditioner, but installing and paying for the energy to run run them can be expensive. Residential energy costs are cky-rocketing. The United States Department of Energy is expected to rise 22 percent by the year 2020. It’s more important now than ever to find better ways to keep your home cool in more energy efficient ways.
Maintenance to your home is one the the biggest ways you can cut your energy costs, starting with the interior of your home. Dark exteriors absorb about 70 percent of energy from the sun, causing increased heat gain inside the home. Paint your home a lighter color on the interior and exterior of your home. Light colored surfaces reflect most of the heat from your walls. You can also apply a reflective coating to your roof. Installing trees or shrubbery in your yard will also provide shade to your home and block the rays of the sun.
Look into installing energy efficient windows through out your home. It is estimated that 40 percent of heat comes through your windows. There are many features that can be upgraded in windows for your home including protective uv barriers that help block the sub. This may be costly, but the benefits will reward itself in the long run and will help not only to keep your home cooler in the summer but warmer in the winter as well. Check with your utility provider, some offer discounts if you install energy efficient windows and appliances.
Use appliances that give off heat as little as possible. Appliances like ovens and clothing driers give off a large amount of heat. Cooking and drying your clothes outdoors will not only cut the heat produced in your home, but will also cut your energy bill as well.
Keep your windows open during the cooler parts of the day like early morning and night hours. Keeping all your windows open will create cross ventilation and will allow more cool air in. During the warmer parts of the day, keep your windows closed to keep the warmer air out. Close curtains and blinds during the warmer parts of the day and when the light shines the brightest, this will block the suns rays from your home. You can also line your windows on the exterior with aluminum foil with the shiny half on the outside. This is a cheap way to reflect the sunlight from the windows and block harmful uv rays.
Close off rooms that are not in use as often like bedrooms or bathrooms. Stay in the areas of the home that are the coolest like the basement. Warm air rises, cooler air sinks.
Take advantage of visiting places that do use air conditioning that is not at your expense, like malls or the movie theater. During hotter temperatures it is recommended that you spend a least one hour in an air-conditioned environment to prevent heat stroke. Keep yourself hydrated, and remember that drinks with sugar, caffeine, and alcohol will dehydrate you faster. Wear light colored clothes made of breathable fabrics like linen and cotton. Take short cool showers to lower skin temperature and avoid lineaments and oils that clog pores.
Install ceiling fans in your home instead of air conditioners. They are cheaper to install and can make a room feel 4 degrees cooler.
Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent, they produce the same amount of light use one-fifth the energy and produce less heat.