On a hot summer day, it can be tempting to crank the A/C on high. But besides racking up your energy bills, high energy use contributes to global warming. So, before you reach for that thermostat, try beating the heat with these few simple tips:
- Invest in ceiling fans. Ceiling fans increase the circulation in your home so you cool it more efficiently. Make sure your fans are rotating counterclockwise to push cool air down.
- Concoct an ice fan. A quick fix for small spaces — point a non-oscillating fan toward you, and place a bowl of ice right in front of it to create an icy-cool breeze.
- Close your shades. Block the sun by closing your shades, especially on south- and west-facing windows. Open your windows at night to let in the fresh air.
- Make your own shade. Use awnings, outdoor shutters or large potted plants to block the sun. Or plant large deciduous trees to shade your home in summer and let light in during winter.
- Check your lightbulbs. Incandescent bulbs give off a lot of heat. Replace them with energy-efficient LED bulbs.
- Use cotton sheets. Cotton bed sheets are lightweight and breathable, or you can find other types of moisture-wicking sheets designed to keep you cool.
- Save chores for evening. Appliances can really heat up your house. Instead of running the washer during the hottest parts of the day, wait until nighttime.
- Grill outdoors. Why cook in a steamy kitchen when you can grill outside and enjoy the fresh night air.
Reducing the use of your A/C takes getting used to. If you feel warm at first, don’t worry. Your body will adjust in no time.