Feeling the heat? It shows up not just on your skin, but in your wallet, too. Here are six weird ways to keep excess heat out of your house and save money on your summer electric bill doing it!
1: Use Your Celing Fans Correctly
Make sure your celing fans are set to summer to cool you down, instead of heating you up. There is a little switch on your fans just below the blades. In most cases, the fan spinning clockwise is for winter and counter-clockwise is for summer.
2. Use Your Exhaust Fans More
Run your exhause fan for several minutes longer after a hot shower in the bathroom or cooking in the kitchen. Remove all that hot air immediately to keep your AC from kicking into overdrive.
3. Identify the Sunny Windows
If you’re like me, you’ve got one or two windows that face due South and are bathed in beautiful, wonderful, hot-as-heck natural light in the summertime. I’m not saying turn your house into a dungeon, but you will be amazed at the difference in temperature once you block just one sunny window. Blackout curtains arn’t enough-you need something reflective to bounce all that heat back outside. For a long time I used a big piece of cardboard with alluminum foil taped on one side in my sunniest window. Now I’ve upgraded to some reflective fabric and no-sew sticky velcro. In the wintertime, I un-velcro my reflective fabric and store it, leaving my normal curtains. I do this for just my two sunniest windows, and noticed an immediate reduction in how often my AC turned on. You can cover your window for about $10 in supplies. The no-sew velcro you can buy at a craft store and this link has some of th same reflective fabric used in insulated bags sold by the yard: https://www.fabric.com/buy/0328317/insul-shine-22-mylar-poly-batting?cm_vc=683e9d5e-c04e-4b72-9124-39165e4fc1c1
4. Update Your Summer Landscaping
The more shade on your house, the less heat it collects. I’m not a fan of planting large trees near a house for safety reasons (I live in hurricane central), but there are lots of plants that can shade a sunny window and all but dissapear in the winter. Elephant ears are a great example–they can grow 12′ tall or more, make a terrific sun shade, and die back to a bulb in the winter. Talk to your local plant nursery to see what grows best in your area.
5. Use Your Dryer Less
You’ve heard of clotheslines, but they are a hassle and require so much space! However, there are ways to efficiently use a small clothesline to really put a dent in your electric bill this summer. Use a smaller clothesline to dry washloads of heavy, bulky items such as jeans, towels, and blankets. These items dry surprisingly quickly in the sun, take up little space, and are quick to hang. Just line drying your jeans and towels will save hours of running a dryer, which uses a lot of electricity and pumps a lot of heat into your home. For other loads, try poping a dry towel in with your wet load and removing the towel after 10 minutes of drying. The towel will absorb a lot of the water from the otehr clothes and you can dry the load in less time. Line dry one towel and you’re saving money!
6. Meal Planning
This tip requires a bit more organization, but it’s not that hard. Try to plan meals that you can cook in a toaster oven, griddler or microwave versus an oven or stovetop. Make grilled cheese instead of frozen pizza, or chilled cut fruit instead of cooked vegetables. Instead of cooking beef on a skillet for tacos, try a vegetarian version with canned refried beans and some seasonings. If you must cook a casserole or something that requiers the oven stay on a long time, cook a double batch and freeze the rest for a meal next week. You’ll be saving yourself money and time! Also reconsider your side dishes; most pasta requires you to keep water boiling for 7-10 minutes, but mashed potato flakes only require the water reach boiling. That’s a lot of heat not being pumped into your house from just one side dish!
If you liked these tips, be sure to subscribe to my blog. If you have time, also check out my Etsy store, http://www.etsy.com/shop/SimpleChildhoods where I sell handmade teddy bears, bankies and baby bibs. Hope these tips will help you out. Stay cool this summer!