Here are some tips to save you money, conserve natural resources and maintain a safe, comfortable & healthy home this summer:
• Turn off fans and open windows at night. Shut them & close blinds to keep in the cool.
• Install window coverings or blinds to prevent heat gain.
• Purchase and apply reflective window film for your windows. This makes sure that most of the sun’s rays don’t get through. You can also use cardboard and aluminum foil to do the same thing. Cut the cardboard to fit into the window. On one side apply aluminum foil. Place the cardboard (aluminum side facing outwards) in the window.
• Move furniture at least 2-3 inches from the windows.
• Set thermostat high between 80 and 85 degrees when not at home. Lower the thermostat to 78 while home.
• Get a programmable thermostat to set the cooling cycle while you are away or at home.
• Avoid setting the Air Conditioner thermostat to the coldest setting. Won’t cool it faster.
• If you can’t afford an Air Conditioner. Combine water and rock salt and place in cups. Put in the freezer. Once frozen, place in a metal bowl and put in front of a fan. As the ice begins to melt (which by not using table salt will be a little longer) the cool air will blow onto you. Hence cheap AC.
• When you shower, cook, do laundry or even mop your floors, turn on fans to remove heat & humidity. Make sure they vent outside. Do these tasks at night or in the early morning.
• Regular maintenance of cooling equipment. Have you checked to make sure equipment is dust free, free of clutter, drip pan, etc.
• Don’t place lamps or TV by AC – the heat will make it run longer.
• Use a ceiling fan with your Air Conditioner allows you to raise setting 4 degrees. Fans cool people not rooms, so turn off when you leave the room. Make sure the fan is rotating clockwise. Counter clockwise rotation distributes the air upwards and clockwise forces it downwards.
• Stand alone fans (i.e. box, oscillations, tower) focus on cooling a specific area. Place yourself in front of the fan, because they aren’t effective at cooling an entire room. If you want a wind chill effect, use a spray bottle with water and spritz yourself in front of the fan.
• Water misting fans
• Limit the lights that you turn on in the house. Lights produce heat. Incandescent bulbs are the worst, so replace with a compact fluorescent bulb.
• Avoid using the oven, stove – use a microwave, grill outside or cook when it gets cooler.
• Run cold water over the back of wrists for 10 mins. This act will keep you cool for about an hour.
• Take cold showers.
• Put feet in bucket of cold water and/or ice while watching TV.
• Next year, you may want to add insulation, plant trees & shrubs outside windows, or install window awnings that will block out some light.
• Place your pillow in the freezer during the day. Before going to bed, place in a pillowcase or garbage bag and stay cool while asleep.
• Tie an icepack or place ice in Ziploc bag around your neck.
• Think “cool”
• Do activities as close to the floor as possible. Heat rises, so this is the coolest place in the house. No wonder animals like to be on the floor in the summer.
• Wash only full loads of dishes & laundry – do these tasks in the early morning or at night. Air dry.
• Take short showers instead of baths. Take cooler showers.
• Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat – computer, stereos, TV, hot devices. They heat up your home.
• Seal cracks & openings that can leak hot air into home. Add caulk or weather stripping to doors & windows.
• Turn down the temperature for hot water heater to 120 degrees.
• Wear clothing that is weather appropriate.