In recent years, a rapidly increasing number of households have gotten serious about energy efficiency. For starters, taking steps to make your abode more energy-efficient can help your family reduce its carbon footprint and do right by Mother Nature. As an added bonus, being energy-efficient can help significantly reduce your power costs. Depending on the size of your household, making strides toward energy efficiency stands to save you a small fortune every month. With summer right around the corner, there’s no better time to start making energy efficiency a priority. A little bit of follow-through and an openness to change can go a long way in keeping your home comfortably cool – and energy-efficient – all season long.
Install Energy-Efficient Windows
A substantial amount of inside air escapes most homes through the windows. Even if your windows are securely closed, there’s a good chance you’re losing quite a bit of heated air during the winter months and cooled air during the summer months. Since many traditional windows are single-paned, it’s easy to see why they’re so inefficient at preventing air from escaping. Needless to say, all this escaped air can make it difficult for your home to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the summer. As a result, your AC has to work even harder, thereby expending more energy and increasing your household’s carbon footprint.
You can help take some of the pressure off your AC – and your cooling bills – by upgrading to energy-efficient windows. Unlike traditional windows, energy-efficient windows contain multiple panes, making them better equipped to seal in interior air and keep outside air at bay. Unsurprisingly, energy-efficient windows often come with higher price tags than standard-grade windows, but the long-term savings they facilitate will more than make up for the short-term cost. Additionally, energy-efficient windows won’t just come in handy during the summer – but year-round. As you’ll find, they’re every bit as effective at warming your home throughout the winter as they are at cooling it throughout the summer.
Use Nighttime Temperatures to Your Advantage
In many areas, temperatures undergo a noticeable drop once the sun goes down. If this is commonly the case in your locale, why not use nighttime temps to your advantage? After the sun sets, turn off your AC, open your windows and allow ceiling fans to circulate the cool outdoor air throughout your home. Placing box fans in key windows can also prove helpful in your air circulation efforts.
Invest in High-Quality Ceiling Fans
No home should be without dependable ceiling fans – particularly during the summer. The benefits of ceiling fans are twofold. In addition to working alongside your AC and circulating cool air, they can also function as solo cooling aids. Once summertime rolls around, adjust your fan blades to spin counterclockwise, as this will blow air downward and create a refreshingly cool breeze. Furthermore, ceiling fans aren’t just for indoor use. If your home features an enclosed porch or patio, installing outdoor ceiling fans can ensure that you and your family are able to stay cool when spending time outdoors.
Cook Outside Whenever Possible
Your oven can add quite a bit of heat to an already-sweltering kitchen. So, whenever possible, try to avoid using your oven during daylight hours throughout the summer. While this is liable to prove inconvenient for certain at-home chefs, it can also serve as an opportunity to try your hand at a tantalizing assortment of grill recipes. Furthermore, if your family’s current grill is well past its prime, this may provide a good excuse to finally invest in a new one.
Keep Your Curtains Closed
Closing your curtains, blinds and other window dressings during daylight can help prevent the sun’s rays from increasing the temperature in your home. For maximum effectiveness, outfit your windows with specialized sun-blocking screens and curtains.
It’s easy to see why so many households are getting serious about energy efficiency. Not only does doing so stand to reduce your environmental impact, it can also save you a substantial sum in energy costs. This sure to prove particularly beneficial during the balmy summer months, when many households have their AC running around the clock. Fortunately, a consistently cool home and intact finances don’t have to be mutually exclusive.