Keeping cool
Woman with fan

If your one solution to staying cool this summer is turning up the air conditioning, you'll end up with one hefty energy bill. There are many other ways to stay cool at home that don't involve turning up your A/C at all.

Stay cool when it's sizzling hot outside

With summer here and a few heat waves already under our belt, what better time than now to discover ways to keep your house cool without cranking up your air conditioning to its maximum.

Indeed, other methods will help keep your home cool so you don't feel like you're melting away. And there's always the option of having an ice-cold glass of lemonade!

Keep your blinds drawn

Your cats, who love basking in the warm sunshine pouring in through the windows, won't like this option much, but keeping your blinds drawn and the sunlight blocked out of your home will help keep the overall temperature in your house lower. Draw them open in the morning if you want some light to help wake you up, but before you leave for the day, close them again so your home is dark and shady.

Install a ceiling fan

Much more energy-efficient than using your air conditioning constantly, ceiling fans can provide a great deal of cooling by redistributing the airflow. If installing one is not an option due to cost or because you rent, then portable fans can help you cool off too.

Don't bake or roast in the middle of a heat wave

You might be craving a batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies or have some fresh fruit you picked up at the farmers market that you're dying to bake into a pie, but resist the urge to turn on your oven during a heat wave. Hold off on satisfying your culinary cravings until after the temperature's gone down. Try to stick to salads or things you can cook quickly on the stovetop. Or better yet, barbecue so you don't heat up the inside of your house.

Do laundry at night

Certain chores and activities, such as laundry, can increase the humidity in your home. Humidity will make you feel hotter and stickier, so reserve these chores for evenings. Other tasks that'll up the humidity include showering and cooking.

Make sure your air conditioning unit is in a shaded spot

If you have the space, plant trees or shrubs that'll create shade where your A/C unit is; just make sure the airflow is not disrupted. An A/C unit in the shade will use less electricity, so you can save a little on your energy bill.

More on saving energy

How to make your home energy-efficient
Are energy-efficient bulbs safe?
30 Ways to reduce your environmental footprint

Tags: energy conservation

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