Everyone wants a nice, cool home to retreat to when the outside temperature soars, but simply turning up the air conditioning to achieve this coolness can be costly. Here are four ways to keep your home cooler without raising your energy bills.
Turn your ceiling fans on.
When you're home, turn your ceiling fans on. Make sure they are spinning counterclockwise, as this will create a breeze below the fan. The air flowing past you will make you feel cooler. While operating a ceiling fan technically does utilize energy, the cost of operating a fan is so low it can be considered negligible. (Running the typical, energy-efficient ceiling fan costs three tenths of a cent per hour).
Remember to turn the fans off when you leave a room. They don't actually lower the temperature of your room. They just make it feel cooler by circulating the air past your skin.
Plant some hedges or trees around your home.
If you plant hedges and trees around your home, they will cast some shade on your home and reduce the amount of hot sunlight that warms your space. Some good types of fast-growing hedges and shrubs to consider include:
- Honeysuckle, a shrub that has tiny white or yellow flowers in the spring and red berries in the winter.
- Nellie Stevens Holly, an evergreen hedge that maintains its shape with little pruning.
- Privet, a Japanese shrub that has tiny white flowers and thrives in bright sunlight.
Keep the blinds or curtains closed.
It can be tempting to open the blinds and let the bright, natural light shine in – but with that natural light comes heat. Keep your blinds or curtains closed during the day, and your home will stay cooler. If you really want to enjoy the look of light streaming into your room, do so on those unseasonably cool days. Otherwise, make it a habit to just go outside when you want sunshine and maintain your home as a sun-free zone.
Turning on your stove or oven on a hot day just raises the temperature of your home and forces your air conditioning units to work overtime. Cook outdoors on the grill on the hottest days. Or better yet, enjoy a cold meal like sandwiches or salads. The cool food will help cool you down, too.
With the tips above, you can stay comfortable on the hottest days of summer without paying a fortune to do so.