Heating and cooling make up over half of your home energy use, so taking steps to ensure that you don't have to crank the air conditioning this summer helps the planet while saving you some cash at the same time.
I know, I know, spring just sprung in April and we're already talking about summer? Here in Atlanta, we're already seeing some pretty steamy temperatures, and when my husband and I were in Orlando for Easter, they were already experiencing highs in the 90s. Yikes! Even if it's not sweltering where you are yet, now's the time to get planning if you want to keep your hands off of that thermostat when the weather heats up.
Close the Blinds
Keeping sunlight out of the house during the day helps keep things cool inside. Just like with a greenhouse, the sun's heat gets trapped in your house, heating things up. What sort of blinds do you have on your windows? If they're the sort that let sunlight in even when they're closed, you might want to consider heavier curtains to supplement.
Plant a Tree
Trees are superstars at improving air quality, but did you know that trees can also help keep you home cool? Try planting deciduous trees near south, east, and west-facing windows. They'll shade your home from the summer sun, and in winter the leaves will fall to let that sunlight give you a little heating boost.
Use Your Ceiling Fan
Make sure fans are set to run counter clockwise, to circulate the air. Modern fans have a switch on the side to toggle which direction they rotate, so you just need to get up on a ladder to make the switch.
A note about switching your fans: you probably will want to dust those fan blades before changing their direction. When my husband and I switched our fans last weekend, it rained dust on our bed. Though, maybe you guys are better housekeepers than we have been lately!
Try a Table Fan
A table fan in front of a bowl of ice water works as sort of a DIY space cooler. This is a great way to cool just the space you're using, rather than switching on that central air to cool the whole house.
Do you guys have any other tips for cooling the house in the summer? Let's share ideas in the comments!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by mendhak