The sun is barely in the sky, yet the heat index is already soaring. Your plans for giving the air conditioner a rest have gone out the window, along with any ideas you had for walking to work, exercising outdoors or opening the windows for a cool breeze. It’s just too hot!
If you’re finding it difficult to stay cool while keeping your carbon footprint small this summer, we’ve found a few tips and ideas for easing up on your energy usage until the weather breaks.
- If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where the weather actually cools down once the sun sets, late in the afternoon, turn off your thermostat and crack your windows for some natural ventilation and a cool cross breeze.
- Have you heard about those folks who live in the desert drinking hot tea to cool off? It works! The hot beverage brings your body’s core temperature up and when there’s not such an extreme difference between your internal furnace and the temperature around you, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
- Similar to #2, above, make your home slightly warmer by raising the thermostat just a few degrees. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Draw the shades and curtains; close the blinds and shutters. The more you can keep the hot sun at bay, the cooler your home will be and the less you’ll need to spend on air conditioning.
- Keep your home and kitchen cooler at mealtimes by giving your oven and stove a rest until the leaves begin to change. Instead, cook your meals in a slow cooker, microwave, or get outside and grill the green way using our eco-friendly BBQ tips.
- If there are rooms in your home that don’t see much traffic, close their AC vents. This will direct more of the cool air into the rooms that are busy with people, without the extra BTUs.
- Leave as little empty space as possible in your fridge (fill empty water jugs and soda bottles with water). Believe it or not, the fuller your refrigerator is, the less energy it uses to stay cool. And if a summer storm or hurricane season deals a power outage, you’ll have clean drinking water.