As the temperature starts to rise, you might soon be tempted to avoid discomfort by turning on the air conditioner inside your home or apartment. Thankfully, as a homeowner who strives to stay green, you don't have to compromise your conscientious lifestyle in order to keep cool.
1) Pull Down the Shades
Windows letting in sunlight during the day can cause the inside of your home to feel even hotter. Keep out the sun by pulling down shades during the day and blocking out the sun. If you have blinds, consider hanging a curtain as well to prevent sunlight from entering through the horizontal slats. When completely closed, blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent. Adding a curtain increases the blinds' effectiveness even more.
2) Switch to Fans
Ceiling and portable fans do a good job at cooling down smaller areas. Many homeowners waste money keeping their entire home cool, even on nights when they spend most of their time in one room. Keeping fans in each room and only turning them on when necessary helps you reduce energy usage.
When searching for a new ceiling fan, be sure to look for the Energy Star label. Fans with this label typically move air 20 percent more efficiently than traditional models.
3) Open the Windows at Night
If you live in a region where the temperature falls at night, take advantage of the cooler air by opening your bedroom windows. This can eliminate the need to turn on any cooling devices, including fans. Just remember to shut windows and close the blinds before the sun rises each morning.
4) Turn the Backyard Patio into a Kitchen
Turning on the oven or stove can quickly make a kitchen feel like a sauna. In the summer, you can serve delicious dishes and keep cool by grilling outdoors instead. Grills are extremely convenient during the warmer months and can be used to cook a variety of foods beside meat, including vegetables and even pizza.
5) Replace Your Incandescent Lights
Incandescent bulbs are the least energy-efficient options in lighting today. They also generate more heat than newer lighting technology. To get the best results in terms of cutting energy usage, switch to LED lights. LED technology is highly effective at staying cool compared to other methods of lighting.
6) Purchase a New Air Conditioner
On sweltering days when an air conditioner is truly the only option, you should invest in an energy-efficient model to continue your green lifestyle. Many of today's air conditioners use 30 to 50 percent less energy than models made in the mid-1970's, while still producing the same amount of cooling air.
To find the most energy-efficient air conditioner, once again look for an Energy Star label and check the energy-efficiency ratio (EER). A higher EER rating indicates a more energy-efficient air conditioner.