On a sizzling summer day, our natural reaction is to turn on the A/C, but that excess of electricity can hurt the environment and your wallet. When it’s so hot outside, finding a balance that allows you to stay cool and save energy is crucial.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to easily cut back on your energy usage without compromising comfort in the warm summer months. Your wallet and the planet will thank you for it.
Here’s how you can keep your house cool and save energy this summer!
1. Block Out Sun & Heat
If your car were to sit out in the hot sun all day, you’d probably put up a sunshade to keep it cool. A sunshade blocks out and reflects heat away from the car — at the end of the day, the inside of the car is still warm, but the seatbelt won’t burn you.
We can do the same thing in our house, apartment, dorm, etc.
Natural light is great, but in the summer, it can quickly heat things up. By keeping your blinds closed and your house a little more cave-like, you can save energy and prevent it from getting too hot throughout the day.
Similar to a sunshade in your car, white roofing can reflect the sun’s light and heat away from your house. Although making the switch to a white roof is costly, it will keep your home much cooler in the hot summer months. It can even reduce extreme temperatures by 2 or 3° C in urban areas!
2. Keep Windows & Doors Closed
When you feel it getting warm inside your house, opening the windows to let in a breeze is tempting. That breeze will cool the house down and save energy, right?
Unfortunately, no, there’s probably not a breeze, and if there is, it’s a warm one. If it’s hot outside, keep the windows closed.
In the middle of a warm day, try to stay inside. Going in and out of the house slowly lets more and more heat in. By the end of the day, it’ll be several degrees warmer inside.
Furthermore, going out into the blazing heat might make you crave a cold environment. Suddenly, that temperate 72°F inside the house is too hot. As a result, you may storm in and turn the temperature all the way down to 50° in a heat-induced rage!
3. Avoid Unnecessary Sources of Heat
During the day, it’s too easy to overlook small ways your home is heating up. Leaving lights on and electronics plugged in are two inconspicuous sources of unnecessary heat. Turning off lights and unused devices can keep your house cool and save energy.
Additionally, cooking on hot days can significantly increase temperatures inside your home. As the kitchen heats up, so too will the rest of the house, and it’ll take more electricity to cool it down later.
4. Take Advantage of the Cool Evenings
Most of the time, a relatively cool evening follows a hot day. Take advantage of this drop in temperatures to cool your house off. Opening the windows will let in that cool breeze we’ve all been waiting for.
Furthermore, fewer people are blasting their air conditioners in the evening, reducing the risk of a brownout. This makes it the perfect time to do laundry or anything else that you’ve avoided throughout the day in order to save energy.
5. Use the A/C Responsibly
Sometimes the heat outside is just too much. Even if you close the blinds and have a white roof, there will still be days when you have to turn on the air conditioner. When you do, use it responsibly and you won’t have anything to worry about.
- Choose a reasonable temperature — I prefer 72°F.
- Use your A/C intermittently and don’t let it run all day.
- Turn it on before your house gets too hot because the hotter it is, the harder it’ll be to cool down.
As long as you’re mindful of your air conditioner use, you can effectively cool your house and save energy at the same time.
How Will You Save Energy this Summer?
At the end of the day, we all want to be comfortable in our own home. Using alternative cooling tactics and turning on the A/C sparingly will keep us all comfy while we save energy.
By using these tactics, you can keep your electricity bills low and your environmental impact lower.
How do you cool your house in the summer? Let us know in the comments!
Living within a mile of the coast (Venice Beach) means I’m lucky to get real wind drafts. My old apartment had no A/C and even heatwave days were enjoyable with all windows open (the roof overhangs keep sun at a distance.) Now in a house, I have a Google Nest smart thermostat which helps me reduce energy savings all year round and I still rarely use A/C because fresh window air feels best!
Jennifer Lo on
Foil/radiant barrier on the attic roof deck rejects the infrared heat from the roof/sun. Solar panels help keep the roof cooler (and guilt free AC use). Solar attic fan is cool :) because its runs when the sun is heating things up. O my favorite, water melon w/lemon juice to keep hydrated and smiling :)
keep a curtain/door across the laundry area so dryer heat won’t leak into the house; change light bulbs to LED which isn’t as hot-burning; use ceiling fans, and/or fans blowing on hallway floors to keep air circulating; 75 degrees is comfortably cool enough if you’re not doing physical work; drink lots of cool water