If climbing temperatures are turning your house into an oven and causing the air conditioning bill to go through the roof, read on for 10 quick, affordable tips to beat the heat and save energy.
1. Close Blinds and Curtains
Mini blinds or curtains can reduce the sunlight and heat streaming in through your windows.
At my house, simply installing blinds on the south-facing windows completely changed the temperature in that part of the house.
Make sure blinds or curtains are white on the side facing the outdoors — white reflects the sun more than other colors.
Solar sun screens and window film are other options that can greatly reduce the heat coming through windows.
2. Install Cool Lighting
Incandescent light bulbs can significantly heat up a room. That’s just one reason why more and more homeowners have turned to alternatives.
Another reason is they’re not energy-efficient and alternatives, such as CFLs and LEDs, last much longer.
Replace standard bulbs with high-efficiency, low-heat LED (light-emitting diodes) bulbs, and turn off the lights when they’re not needed.
3. Cook Wisely
Eat cold meals, cook outside on the grill, or use the microwave for cooking, when possible, to minimize heat indoors.
Here’s how to beat the heat when you do cook indoors:
- Use pressure cookers and slow cookers
- Cover pots to minimize indoor humidity.
- Use a range hood or microwave vent fan to vent hot air outside.
- Check the oven by turning on the light and looking through the glass, rather than opening the oven door.
- Turn the oven off a few minutes before food is cooked to reduce oven heat.
4. Turn Off Electronics
Computers, TVs and other electronics generate quite a bit of heat when sitting idle or even when turned off, so unplug devices when they’re not in use.
Another easy way to beat the heat these electronics produce is to plug them into a surge protector that has an on/off switch, then turn the switch off when the devices are not in use.
5. Repair Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are a major source of heat gain in the house. Older single-pane windows and doors without proper weatherstripping are the worst culprits.
So keep windows closed and locked, and doors tightly closed to prevent cool air from escaping.
If you can’t replace your windows and doors with more energy-efficient models, repair any gaps or replace weatherstripping around windows and doors.
Also, don’t open windows at night unless the temperature drops to the mid-70s Fahrenheit or lower.