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Our top 10 ways to keep cool in the summer without a sky high energy bill!
Summer, oh summer. I feel like we wait all year for you and then you arrive in a wave of humidity and make me yearn for turtlenecks and flannel. Okay, maybe not exactly those fashion choices since I have no desire to return to the days of grunge, but I am always looking for ways to keep cool in the summer so I can still enjoy my time off with the kids without sending my electric bill through the roof!
1) Embrace the fans! I know we’re all used to design shows where the first thing they do is get rid of ceiling fans because they’re eyesores, but I’m telling you to keep it. Don’t just keep it, but make sure you have multiple ceiling fans. Especially in the bedrooms.
Use the fan to help circulate the cold air, buuuut, always turn it off when you leave the room. Not just because it’s a pet peeve of my husband’s to leave fans on in rooms where there is no human being, but because it’s a total and complete waste of electricity. Fans cool people, not rooms.
We even put an extra fan in my daughter’s room, because it’s right above the garage and can get very stuffy.
2) Get in the habit of doing certain chores in off-peak hours. Run your dishwasher and do your laundry during the evening when it’s cooler and your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to keep the house cool while these appliances are running. Then as soon as you wake up, your laundry is ready for you to hang out on the line to dry! Because, yes, drying your clothes outside is AWESOME for keeping your house COOL and your electric bill LOW.
3) My husband’s favorite tip is to make sure you change your AC filters once a month. Boys are weird and this gets him giddy. It really does help keep your air conditioner functioning at its best, though. The better it can breathe, the better it will work to keep your home cool.
4) Look for energy-efficient curtains. We have black-out curtains in our bedrooms and keep them closed pretty much all day during the summer and then open all day in the winter. The sun is the world’s greatest heater, and insulated curtains do a great job of keeping that natural heat out of your house.
5) While we’re talking about windows, let’s discuss using caulk to seal it. It is SO cheap and SO effective and yet I think people only bring it up in winter. It seems to be the go-to response for how to keep cold air out of your house. But you know what?? It’s the same concept that lets warm air in during the summer. So splurge a couple bucks on a tube of caulk and get those cracks and gaps sealed up!
6) Take a little tour around your house and make sure that all of your vents are clear of furniture and draperies. Why make them work harder and have to go past obstacles?? Let them be completely exposed for maximum efficiency!
7) This is another one that gets my husband all excited while I just sit back and let him do his thing- switch your lightbulbs to LED lights. They produce light but don’t generate extra heat, use up to 90% less electricity and can last for more than 20 years. Check with your electric provider because some of them offer instant discounts if you purchase them at participating stores.
8) And since you’re all dying to know what gets me excited… step away from the oven and think of new ways to cook! Grill, microwave, use your slow cooker or just eat lots of no-cook meals like salads and wraps!
9) One of the first things my husband purchased when we moved into our current house, was a programmable thermostat. And oh baby, does he ever use that thing. He has it set for different temperatures for different times of day, different days of the week and he loooves using it for when we go on vacation. But he’s right. Why waste energy and money cooling the house when nobody is even home??
10) My last tip for keeping cool in the summer is to use all of your house!! I know for me, I love being on the main floor of our house during the summer! I love seeing all the activity outside and the sun shining. But the basement is sooooo much cooler! I’m talking refreshingly, I want to marry you, you make me giggle cooler. Take advantage of your basement if you have one!
Feel free to print the graphic below off so you can implement some of these tips in your own house this summer to save cool and keep that electric bill low!