10 Tips for Keeping Your Home Cool This Summer

We'll help you heat up your summer and cool down your home with these great tips!

We’ll help you heat up your summer and cool down your home with these great tips!

The heat is on. Remember about a month or so ago when we were all complaining about the cooler than usual weather? And now we’re faced with hot weather and a potential heat advisory warning coming our way this week. So, how do we keep our homes cool despite the heat and humidity (and save money on air conditioning by keeping it from working quite so hard)? We’ve got some tips for you:

  1.  The sunshine is beautiful but of course, it creates a lot of heat as it streams into your home. Pull your curtains, at least during the hottest part of the day to keep some of that heat from entering your house in the first place.
  2. Avoid using your oven. We’ve noticed that when we turn our oven on, the temperature in our homes can raise by at least a degree or two. Try cooking outside on your BBQ or use your microwave or slow cooker. If you must use your stove or oven, be sure to use your exhaust fan to help remove the warm air from the room.
  3. Using ceiling fans helps move the air around your home, cooling things off and keeping your air conditioner from working as hard. It’s less expensive than running your a/c unit. If using other types of fans, one quick way to cool a room down is to place a bowl of ice in front of the fan so that the air being blown is chilled. It really works!
  4. Make sure you are taking the time to clean and maintain your a/c unit to help it work more efficiently. Have an older model? It might be time to replace it for something that is more energy efficient.
  5. Use an automatic thermostat so you can set it to keep your home warmer when you’re away and then start cooling again before you come home.
  6. Turn the a/c off and open the windows when you can. Often it is cool enough at night to sleep without the a/c on! Just be sure to close the windows before the heat of the day starts up again. This will help hold some of that cool air in your home and again, prevent your a/c unit from having to work too hard.
  7. Take cooler, shorter showers – again to prevent too much heat from entering your home in the first place. And be sure to turn on your exhaust fan to remove as much of the warm air as possible.
  8. Avoid opening your doors too often (and holding them open for too long) especially during the hottest part of the day. Or is this just a problem in homes where the kids are letting the dog out and seem to leave the door open for much longer than it needs to be? (Can anyone relate to this?) Close doors to rooms that aren’t currently being used as well. No sense trying to cool empty rooms.
  9. Make sure that the pipes and vents in your home are all properly sealed. Check windows, doors, your dryer vent, and other such places to make sure that none of the cool air from your a/c is escaping!
  10. Consider taking a tech break. It’s amazing how much heat can be generated from televisions, computers, and other electronics. Turn off whatever you can!

How do you stay cool in the summertime?

10 Tips for Saving on Energy Costs This Summer

summer
It’s summer time and all weather reports say it’s going to be a really hot one….not that it’s easy to believe that given the weather we’ve had recently but the heat must be coming sometime right? When it does, you know that  your energy bills can really go up. So what can we do to save money at this time of the year?

Here’s our top 10 tips for saving on energy costs in the summer:

  • Keep your fridge well stocked. A full fridge will hold the cold in better than an empty one and as a result, it will run more efficiently. Double check the door seal to make sure that you don’t have any cold air escaping. Put a $5 bill or piece of paper at the edge of the door and close the refrigerator door on it. If you can pull the bill out, the gasket needs to be replaced.
  • Use your dishwasher. It generally uses less hot water than hand washing dishes does. Just set it to the air dry option instead of heated dry.
  • When doing laundry, wash your clothes in cold water and hang on the clothesline to take advantage of the great outdoors for drying your clothes (as long as you don’t have seasonal allergies!). Only do laundry when you have a full load to wash and use your washer (and dryer if needed) early in the morning or late at night when the hydro rates are cheapest.
  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs wherever you can.
  • If you have central air conditioning, turn it up by a degree or two and install ceiling fans, set to rotate counter-clockwise. You can save 14-15% on your a/c bill during the summer season this way. Use a programmable thermostat if you can and set the a/c for a higher temperature when you’re going to be away from home.  Experts suggest 25 degrees C when at home and 28 when away.
  • Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day to help naturally cool your home. You can block up to 65% of the heat entering your home this way.
  • Make sure the tracks on your windows and sliding glass doors are clean. If there is anything in the track, it can help cold air escape from your home, wasting energy.
  • Plant trees or shrubs in a location where they will provide shade for your air conditioning unit. This can help increase its efficiency by up to 10%.
  • Before you turn on your air conditioner for summer, be sure to check the air filters. A dirty filter can decrease your air conditioner’s efficiency by 5-15%. Clean monthly for the rest of the summer.
  • Using your BBQ or serving cold food meals will prevent adding heat to your home with the use of the stove, oven, or other such appliances.

What are your tips for reducing energy costs during the summer? Share them in the comments below.