Weather across the country has reached record high temperatures, and for many Americans, air conditioners are constantly running. This hikes up electricity bills and emits harmful amounts of chemicals into the atmosphere. Living sustainably can be achieved with a few simple steps, like utilizing a fan, sealing the home and keeping the sun out during peak hours of the day.
Eliminate heat from outside
Sealing up windows isn’t just helpful during the winter months, it can keep hot air out during the summertime as well. In older homes or apartments, windows are often troublesome unless they have been replaced. Also, sealing up the attic and ducts are great ways to make sure the air in the house doesn’t escape.
Investing in good shades or curtains will keep the sun out of the home, helping it from getting too hot from direct sunlight. This is especially important for east or west facing windows that get direct sunlight. Many stores carry curtains that are specifically made to black out a room, keeping it extra cool.
Cut down on heat inside
It may not see like it makes a difference, but shutting down electronics when they aren’t being used will cut down on heat exuded from them. Televisions, computers and video game consoles get very hot if left on all day. Not can it cause damage to the electronics in the long run - a computer can fry if it overheats too much - it creates a lot of heat, especially in a small space.
Running the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher in the morning will also cut down on extra heat because it is cooler in the morning. Keeping the stove on for an extended amount of time will heat up the place more than anticipated as well. If possible, don’t leave the oven on for any longer than it is supposed to be on, and try to fill it with food that can be used during the meal or at a later time.
Using fans, especially ceiling fans, will help circulate the air and they don’t use nearly as much energy as the air conditioner. Large fans that rotate will move the air around and help eliminate stale air caught in one room. If possible, installing an energy star fan will cut down on energy costs as well.