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6 Innovative ways to save on energy and beat the heat this coming summer

stay cool save energyAs temperatures begin to climb, many of us homeowners start looking at eco-friendly and low-cost options to beat the heat as the spring and summer months kick in.

The following are some of the best ways for homeowners to make this summer the coolest ever:

Don’t turn on the oven

Many reluctant cooks like myself may be thinking I just signed off on them eating out all summer. However, that would defeat the purpose of saving money wouldn’t it? The point I’m trying to make here is there are alternative methods of cooking besides the oven. Your oven generates a great amount of heat that you don’t have to worry about when cooking outdoors, microwaves or serving cool foods like salads and sandwiches.

Install a programmable thermostat

If you are going to be away from home for most of the day, you probably don’t need to have the AC struggling to keep the house a frigid 65 degrees while you’re at work. However, you don’t want the house to be a furnace when you get home either. This is doubly true if you have kids or pets that will be home throughout the day.

Smart thermostats enable you to program them to automatically adjust the temperature in your home at predetermined time intervals or by remote while you are away. Consequently, the amount of energy you use to cool your house will decrease.

Keep the Sun outside

Using exterior shutters and hanging dark colored curtains, roman shades or mini blinds in each window can reduces the amount of sunlight that shines in your home during the warm sunny part of the day and can significantly reduce the energy you consume to cool your home.

Give the dryer a break

Another way to save on energy and keep your cooler is by using a clothes line instead of your dryer, especially for pants and towels. If you must use the dryer, make sure the outside vent is clean and open and turn on your ceiling vent and open a window to keep the warm, moist are out.

Invest in some quality fans

You don’t need to spend big money to find a quality fan; you can find them almost anywhere for around $20. You can help keep you house cool this summer by placing a fan in each window early in the morning or late in the evening. This will pull in cool air. Reversing the fan will remove hot, stuffy or moist air from a room. Finally, remember to keep the door to the room open or the fan will not be able to run properly.

Switch to CFL bulbs

Replacing all incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs is another great way to save on energy costs and keep cool. CFL bulbs emit less heat than incandescent bulbs thereby cooling your home to some degree and use 70 to 75 percent less energy.

Keeping cool during the summer can often be a challenge. Constantly running the AC is one way to cool a home, but running it all the time demands quite a bit of energy. Thankfully, we are not without other options.

[About the author: Alexander (Alex) Goodwin is a writer, husband, father and aspiring novelist. When he isn’t writing for HomeDaddys or completing chores from his “honey-do” list, he’s most likely spending quality time with his wife and kids or working on his novel. Image: greg westfall]

3 Responses to 6 Innovative ways to save on energy and beat the heat this coming summer

  1. SlackerInc says:

    Good post, except shouldn’t those shades ideally be light-coloured rather than dark-coloured? (Think of going out in the sun wearing white pants and a black shirt or vice versa; which is hotter, legs or torso?)

  2. Edith says:

    In my country (the Netherlands) most houses aren’t equipped with AC, so keeping the heat out in Summer is not a matter of saving energy but of saving sanity (having to sleep at 30+ °C is Not Nice). Next to prevent use of heat generating equipment (vacuum cleaning is another one, next to the above mentioned oven and laundry dryer) and keeping the Sun out, I would recommend: keep all windows shut during the day and open them up as much as possible during night. Of course only advisable if it will not give thieves an easy way in, and if the temperature at night is considerably lower than during the day. When there’s no cooling breeze, generate one yourself by positioning a portable fan in front of an open window, so it will be blowing hot air from the house out; cool air from outside will flow in to make up for the pressure difference (somehow this seems to work better than pulling cool air in from outside).

  3. SlackerInc says:

    Edith, what about people with pollen allergies? Do they use AC? I can’t let outside air in due to my allergies, so I run AC even when it is not that warm out.

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