Trying to beat the summer heat without beating up your bank account to cover that electricity bill? I am with you. And I’ve got some seriously simple tips to keep your home cool this summer in an energy efficient way.
I’ve got 10 really simple, energy efficient ways for you to beat the heat this summer while saving money.
1. Swap It Out
LED light bulbs produce light without generating heat unlike traditional incandescent bulbs. We have a bunch of recessed lighting in our kitchen and it really can feel HOT with regular bulbs. We use the LED bulbs in pretty much every light fixture in the house (and outside).
BONUS: They use up to 90% less energy and can last for more than 20 years, saving up to $80 over the bulb’s lifetime. PPL Electric Utilities customers can learn more about LEDS and get instant discounts at participating stores.
2. Fan Girl (or Boy)
We’ve been doing this and it seriously helps. This is the trick though: Fans cool rooms, not people. So turn it off when you leave the room! I keep reminding the kids. 🙂 You can feel such a difference in the temp when you run a fan (try to blow the cooler air to your face or feet for the best cool down!). We have a ceiling fan in the living room and have been using this Honeywell Tower Fan and I LOVE it. It’s very portable to move from room to room and cools at a range of temps. Highly recommend!
3. Procrastinate Like A Boss
This one I am so good at. Household tasks that generate heat and use energy (think laundry, dishwasher, baking, cooking, etc) are best put off until cooler hours like late afternoon and evening. Don’t add more heat to your house when it’s already hot enough outside. Put it off? Done. 😉
4. Windows, Blinds, & Curtains. Oh My!
Windows can let in a lot of sunshine and a lot of heat. The entire back of our house is one window after another, which I love for light, but it does heat things up when I open it up. Keep the blinds closed during the day or try insulated or blackout curtains to block that heat. When it’s cooler in the evening, open the windows to get a breeze flowing.
5. Change It Up
Keeping your air filter clean will improve how your air conditioner functions. You can find these at Lowe’s or Home Depot or even order online. The better it ‘breathes’, the more efficiently it works. We find that replacing them more often in the summer months helps with allergies too, which everyone in my house suffers with. Generally we change ours out every 3 months per the recommendation on the packaging, but changing out more frequently will keep your air conditioner operating even more efficiently.
TIP: Keep track of when you are due to get a new filter in there by taping a sheet of paper right to your furnace!
6. Get Down
Your home’s cool air sinks to the lowest level. For us, that’s the basement and it feels SO good down there in the hotter months. I’ll often take the kids down there and work on a little project just to get a break from the heat.
7. Set It And Forget It
Use a programmable thermostat to manage the temperature in your house and cool it when people are actually there. This is the same concept as turning off the fan when you leave the room. When no one is home, don’t use the energy (or money) to cool an empty house. If you have pets, keep them in mind of course, but you can safely program your thermostat to a higher temperature when the house is empty. According to the US Department of Energy, that can save as much as 3% per degree!
TIP: Keep heat-generating appliances like the TV or lamps away from your thermostat.
8. Where the Wind Blows
Walk around your house and check your air vents. Are they clear? Remove any furniture or toys (why are there always toys near the vents?!) that are blocking the flow of air. In my daughter’s room, the vent is right below her window and curtain and the air flows right behind the curtain which doesn’t do much to cool her room. A simple vent deflector solved this problem and is making a huge difference in keeping her room comfortable.
9. Fire Up The Grill
This is a big one for us. We grill as much as possible in the summertime. You can find my favorite grilling recipes here! I’m not going to lie: I don’t want to wash the dishes and this solves that problem for me. We also much prefer grilled food, and, it keeps all the heat of cooking outside of the house and doesn’t use any electricity. S’mores over the fire pit also save energy. (You’re welcome for that excuse to eat more of them.)
10. Seal It Up
Want to print out some of these ideas and put them on the fridge? Maybe your kids are like mine and need about 50 reminders to turn the fan off. 😉