For many, summer means barbecues, beach cricket and a dip in the pool. However, there are days when the harsh summer sun is not so pleasant and the only option is to turn on the air conditioning in the house.
We all know when you turn your house into a freezer you need to get mentally and financially ready for next quarter’s utility bills. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that using a lot of energy to cool your home in the summer contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.
Here’s how to keep you and your home cool this summer while helping the environment:
- Close the blinds
Close the blinds, especially on the north and west windows, to significantly cool the house. Even better, invest in some blackout curtains to protect your home from the harsh summer sun.
- Block heat
By keeping heat out of your home in the first place, you can save money on cooling. Cover windows and walls with cladding such as blinds, awnings, and large potted plants. Plant deciduous trees that provide shade in the summer and sunshine in the winter. If possible, invest in window tint and replenish ceiling insulation. This allows you to keep your home warm even in winter.
- Just 1°C more
If you must use the air conditioner, set the thermostat to 24-27 degrees Celsius or a comfortable temperature. Raising the thermostat by just 1°C in warm weather can reduce appliance running costs by approximately 10%. If you’re looking to upgrade your air conditioner, choose one with a high Energy Star rating and do your research to make sure you’re choosing the right type of air conditioner for your home.
- Adjust the ceiling fan
It can sometimes feel like your ceiling fan is pushing hot air into your home instead of cooling it. Rotate the ceiling fan counterclockwise in the summer to push the air straight down for better cooling, and rotate it clockwise in the winter to pull the cold air up. In warmer months set the fan speed higher, set the fan speed lower in cold weather. Ceiling fans can also be used as a complement to other types of cooling, so making sure they’re spinning in the right direction can make a big difference to the temperature in your home.
- Close the door to close the gap
Keep the cool air where you need it most by closing doors in rooms you aren’t using. Seal gaps around doors and windows and use draft excluders to keep cold air from escaping.
Note: Evaporative air conditioning works best if you open a few doors and windows to increase the airflow in your home.
- Night time
You may want to stay indoors with the windows closed during the day, but when it gets cooler in the evening, you may want to open the house to allow the house to cool naturally. Cooking dinner in your garden or park is a cool alternative to a hot and humid kitchen. Make the most of the cool breeze whenever you can.
- Easy measurements
Drinking cold drinks, applying damp cloths to your neck and body, and taking cold showers can all help you cool off without turning on the air conditioner.