Wednesday, June 12, 2013

10 Eco-Friendly Easy Ways to Cool Your Home

Feeling hot already this spring? Our weather is pretty crazy, from sweltering one day to freezing (literally) the next. We've had two weeks of this weather! I know it's going to get really hot soon, and the sweltering days are already too hot for my taste. I'm looking for ways to be green while cooling my home.

Check out these ways to be green while keeping your house cool. I've divided these green tips into free fixes (in this post), and more extensive home upgrades for you to consider (to be published in a later post). If you're looking for green heat and cooling options, start here with the easy fixes, and consider larger upgrades as well that will save money and energy in the long-term.

Free (and Easy) Cooling Fixes

1. Close your windows and blinds during the day to keep the heat out and the cool air in. Especially keeping the blinds close on the south side of your house will help the most.

2. If the air at night is cooler outside your house than inside, open your windows at night to get the hot air out and to let some cool air in. When opening windows, choose two at opposite ends of your house so that the air will be drawn through the house. Opening just one window will be much less effective.

3. Keep your internal doors open to allow airflow throughout your home. This includes allowing cool air from the basement or lower levels to cool any higher stories in your home.

4. Use ceiling fans to cool areas you are in. Fans don't actually make the air any cooler, they just create wind which feels cooler on your skin. So when you're not in the room, turn them off. (If a fan blows in a room, but you're not there to feel it, is it really cooler? No.)

Make sure to run fans counter-clockwise to create cool breezes (and run them clockwise in the winter to push hot air down).

5. Delay generating heat until the evening by not using appliances during the day. This includes the oven, dishwasher, and other appliances.

6. Avoid heating foods if possible. Try cold soups or salads. (I like couscous because you can fluff it up with just hot water from the tap!)

7. Line dry your clothes. Not running the dryer will keep your home much cooler!

8. Shower at night so that your house doesn't get hot and humid during the day.

9. Remember that you can turn your thermostat up just a few degrees to save energy (and money). For every degree that your thermostat is set above 72, you'll use 1-3% less energy!

10. Turn down your AC when you're not home.


11. Wear less clothing. Switch to cooler-feeling sheets and lighter blankets.

Hope you'll be able to keep cool this summer! I've been trying to keep our internal doors open to spread cool air around and it seems to be helping, especially at night!

Photo Credits: ©Pirukas, ©Haak78, ©Kdrgreen | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

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