KEEPING YOUR HOME COOL
With the current summer heat waves going on just about everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere keeping your home cool is a priority. Being able to keep your home cool and not wasting money is even better!
Here are several things you can do that will save you money while keeping your house cooler in the heat. You probably know many, if not all, of them, but sometimes a reminder helps!
Keep the Lights Off
Yes, lights generate heat and this in turn warms up the inside of your home. If you need to have a light on, then try to use LED bulbs since they release the least amount of heat energy of all three bulb types. If you are still using incandescent bulbs then definitely don't turn it on and check out "5 Reasons to Switch to LED Bulbs Now."
Do Laundry After Sunset
Do laundry either at night or very early in the morning before it starts to really heat up outside. Believe it or not the machines actually do generate heat when they are in use, especially the dryer so it would be even better not to use your dryer at all and hang-dry your laundry instead!
Take Hot Showers After Sunset
This may not have a huge effect but if you take really long showers or have the hot water heater temperature up really high, then it might. In my house we heat our hot water using our oil burner, so yes, heat is created to make my hot water. Depending upon how your hot water is heated heat is probably released into your home. Heat is also released into your home as the water travels through the pipes to your shower. If you need to shower during the day then try lowering the temperature on your hot water heater or taking a cool shower instead.
Do Dishes After Sunset
Wash dishes, either by hand or using the dishwasher, at night. Both of them will release heat energy whether it's from hot water generation and usage (both of them) or from the running motor of the dishwasher.
Use Windows to Your Advantage
It is usually cooler at night so open the windows and let all that cool air in and then shut them early in the morning to keep all that 'cool' in and the hot out!
Keep the Sun Out
You can block the suns heat from getting into your house in a variety of ways. The least expensive way is to just put up shades or drapes on your windows and keep them closed during the day. Yes, I know this makes it a little darker inside, but it will keep it much cooler as well! Other Energy Efficient Window Treatment options that cost money (but are worth consideration for the future): interior or exterior blinds, awnings, high reflectivity films, insulated panels, energy efficient window screens, overhangs, shutters, storm panels.
Fireplace Flue: Open or Closed?
The chimney effect can either help you or hurt you. If you are not using air conditioning you can open it at night and cool your house similar to the whole house attic fan. Read more at "Home Cooling With Your Fireplace." Pretty creative idea, however, if you are using an air conditioner you definitely want to always keep the flue closed. The chimney will become a vacuum as the hot air rises and it will pull your costly cooled air right up and out too! You might consider sealing the damper - read more at "Chimney Dampers: Stop the Fireplace Draft."
Seal Drafty Windows and Doors
Be sure all windows and doors are sealed and that there is no hot air coming in. Remember, heat flows from high to low so in the summer hot air will come in the house any way it can and it will raise the indoor temperature. This in turn will make your AC work harder to maintain temperature (if you have one) and of course that's a waste of money.
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Hi there! I'm Kathie, the author behind Creating A Simpler Life blog. I'm excited to share our longterm projects (and planning) toward building our future retirement homestead in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. In the meantime I will be sharing all the other little things we do that are part of creating our simpler life!