There are so many things to love about summer. Between pool parties, barbecues, and weekend festivals, the summer season is chock-full of things do. But there’s one thing that no one loves about this time of year: sky-high utility bills. Keeping your home cool without cranking the A/C can be quite the challenge during the hot summer months.
This summer, try these tips and tricks to beat the heat and keep your utility costs down.
- Mind the blinds. As the sun beats down on your windows, it traps heat inside your home, producing what’s known as the greenhouse effect. Keep blinds closed during the day to prevent this.
- Run appliances at night. Large appliances, such as your dryer and dishwasher, emit a lot of heat when in use. To keep things cool at home, try running appliances only at night.
- Grill more, bake less. Using your oven heats up your house quickly and makes it harder to cool down. When cooking, limit oven usage by opting for the grill instead.
- Replace your sheets. Being hot at night can wreak havoc on your sleep. Rather than letting the air conditioner run all night, try replacing your sheets with cotton or bamboo, which absorb sweat and are more breathable. Synthetic wet¬wicking sheets may also be a good option.
- Utilize fans. If you have ceiling fans, adjust them to turn counter¬clockwise during the summer months. This pushes cool air downward and produces a wind chill effect, causing you to feel naturally cooler without the need to lower the thermostat. For floor or table fans, mimic the effect of the air conditioner by placing a fan in front of a bowl of ice.
- Swap out incandescent lights. Incandescent bulbs use heat to create light, so they naturally produce more heat in your home and waste a lot of energy. Switch to LED (light¬emitting diode) or CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) for energy-efficient lights that last longer and emit very little heat.
- Plant a tree. Greenery, such as trees, vines, and tall shrubs, provides natural shade that helps keep your home cool during the day. While it may take a few years to produce a sufficient amount of shade, planting greenery in strategic locations can help you combat the summer heat and save on energy costs for years to come.
- Get a cool roof. If you’re willing to make a small investment, turning your roof into a cool roof can provide a sizable future payoff. Cool roofs are lighter in color, allowing them to reflect the sunlight and absorb less heat than conventional, dark roofs. You can paint your roof, apply a sheet covering, or replace it with reflective shingles or tiles to achieve the benefits of a cool roof.