Staying Cool Without Breaking the Bank
May 29, 2019 | by BMI Staff
Summer is the best season for vacations, lake days, and swimming. It is the worst, however, for saving money on the electric bill. Beat the heat and save a buck, this season, with our easy-to-follow tips for staying cool.
Stay cool at night with the right bedding and sleepwear.
- Use light-colored, cotton sheets in the summertime to absorb less bodily heat and promote air flow.
- If you are a cool-side-of-the-pillow person, consider purchasing a technology-aided cooling pillow that will regulate its own temperature throughout the night.
- Go light when it comes to your pajamas, as well. Opt for a cotton t-shirt and shorts to keep you comfortable and cool at the same time.
Employ some natural remedies to beat the heat.
Before the invention of air conditioning, several natural remedies were used to fight the rising temperatures of summer. One effective alternative to air conditioning is placing a shallow bowl of ice in front of a fan. While the effects won’t spread to the entire house, you’ll be surprised by the impact of this affordable trick.
Unplug, turn off, and hang dry.
- Air conditioning takes up a hefty chunk of the electric bill, but what about all of the other appliances that suck up our resources? Kitchen appliances, hair dryers, and even phone chargers use energy any time they are plugged in—not just when they are in use. The waste of energy doesn’t end there, however. These seemingly harmless appliances actually work against the AC by expelling heat of their own. Even in small amounts, this warmth begins to build. Unplug your appliances when they aren’t being used, and feel the cool and refreshing result.
- Reduce your oven and stove-top cooking, and instead opt for cookouts and light, indoor dinners. Not only does the oven put off more heat than any other appliance, but eating light is easier on the metabolism, reducing body heat.
- Another way to reduce heat is to skip the dryer and hang dry your clothes instead. Similar to putting ice in front of a fan, placing wet garments in the path of an outdoor breeze produces cold air. Position your clothes line in front of an open window for some multi-tasking on your energy savings.
Play to your home’s strengths.
- On a day that’s not too hot, turn off the air conditioning and instead open windows on both sides of your home, creating a cross-breeze the whole household will enjoy.
- If you notice certain rooms hold cool air better than others, use those mental notes to determine whether or not to close a door. For example, if your bedroom closet heats up faster than the rest of your room, keeping the closet door closed will prevent that hot air from warming your sleeping space. Inversely, if your entire room feels warmer than the rest of your home, keeping the door open will help the warm air escape and invite in the cooler air from the hall.
- Even with the windows shut, heat can enter the house through sunlight. Keeping blinds and curtains closed during the day will keep your AC unit from working overtime. If you enjoy using the sun for natural light, open the west-facing curtains in the morning and the east-facing ones in the afternoon. This opposes the natural rising and setting of the sun, keeping your home free of direct sunlight.
- If you live in a multi-story home, you know just how true it is that heat rises. Many of these homes only contain a thermostat on the ground level, kicking the AC off when that floor has reached the desired temperature. Instead of keeping the first floor ice cold to avoid sweating up above, consider closing your downstairs vents to force the air up.