7 Energy Efficient Ways to Keep Cool this Summer
June 23, 2015.
The muggy heat of summer is upon us, and attempts to beat the heat cause many to resort to energy intensive habits such as blasting the air conditioning (AC). And although AC is a necessary and wonderful invention, its use has a significant impact on the climate. According to the Department of Energy, air conditioners use about 5% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of more than $11 billion to homeowners. The good news is there are simple ways to moderate its use – so we can remain comfortable even on those hot days. Here’s out list of handy tips for staying cool this summer:
- Shut your windows in the morning and open them in the evening. Taking advantage of natural cooling is the best way to prevent excessive AC use. During short duration heat waves, nighttime air temperatures usually drop to comfortable levels, and if captured can be used to keep your house cool most mornings, through mid-day.
- Use a smart thermostat. A programmable thermostat automatically powers down your AC when you are away and turns it back on before you get home. If you’re busy (and who isn’t!), this device will assure you’re not spending money on cooling when you don’t need to. Our ‘Wi-Fi 9000’ Smart Thermostat can be controlled from either a touchscreen display, web app, or mobile app for the optimum combination of ease, comfort, and energy savings. And be sure to set the initial cooling temperature to 78 F, which is the EnergyStar recommendation. You can always notch it lower from there.
- Change (or Clean) the filter on your AC. When AC filters are clogged, both air flow and efficiency are reduced. This means it takes more energy to push the air through – reducing the cooling effect and increasing your costs. Whether it’s a window or outdoor unit, be sure to clean your filters at the start of each cooling season.
- Buy LED lightbulbs. The energy emitted from incandescent bulbs produces a good deal of heat (85 BTUs/hour), which builds up in rooms and aggravates feelings of warmth. Meanwhile, LED’s produce much less heat (3 btu’s/hour), and thus serve to keep you cooler. Our 40W-Eq Soft White LED Bulb lasts 16 times longer than an incandescent bulb and uses 80% less power, making it a great way to reduce your electricity bill and your carbon impact.
- Seal cracks and openings. The energy expenditure of the AC will be wasted if cracks and openings around your home allow cool air to escape and warm air to seep in. Prevent this leakage by using caulking or weather stripping to seal gaps around windows and doors. Our Heat Shrink Window Film Insulation – 5 Window Kit is easy to install & a great way to start weatherizing your home for winter and summer.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Believe it or not, the bigger and more protein-laden the meal, the more metabolic heat your body creates when breaking it down. Plus, cutting down on your animal protein intake reduces your carbon footprint because meat production emits significant GHGs.
- Stay hydrated. Beat the heat by making sure to drink lots of water, and be sure to ditch single-use plastic water bottles in favor of reusable ones. Our Bubi Collapsible Water Bottle is light-weight, collapsible, and comes in 9 different colors!
We hope these tips will help you enjoy a greener summer lifestyle! Now it’s your turn – how do you and your family stay cool yet climate-friendly? Please share with us any additional ideas!