Photo by Peter Morgan
Cool Down Bedding With Ice Packs
Night time is one of the most difficult times to endure hot indoor temperatures. Most people prefer to turn their thermostats down in the evening before they get in bed. In fact, research has shown that most individuals truly do sleep better in cooler temperatures, usually between 60 and 68 degrees fahrenheit.
So what are you to do when you're trying to get a good night's rest without paying a small fortune in energy bills?
Take two gel ice packs, wrap them in a pillowcase or handkerchief, and then place one in your pillow and the other at your feet. Your head and feet are the two parts of your body that dictate whether or not you feel hot or cold all over; they're basically your body's thermostat. When they stay cool, you feel cool.
Utilize Basement Spaces
Your basement is the perfect place to retreat from summer heat. Since it's below ground, it receives natural insulation from the earth.
You can count on your basement being 5-10 degrees cooler than the upper levels of your home.
Use Blinds and Window Coverings Wisely
It's hard to believe that something as simple as a window blind could make much of a difference in keeping your home cool, but it most definitely can.
Photo by Tom Giebel
Blocking out harsh summer sunlight with blackout blinds, or even less robust window coverings, can keep your home from getting too warm. On the flip side, you can open blinds and windows to let cool air in at night.
Strategically Plant Deciduous Trees
Deciduous trees are a real secret weapon when it comes to energy efficiency. Plant deciduous trees with heavy foliage on the southern side of your home for a natural efficiency boost.
In the summer, the trees' foliage will block hot sunlight from entering your home. In the winter, when the foliage is gone, they'll allow light to pass through and warm your home.
Be Aware of Sneakily Hot Appliances
The devil is in the details, and there are an awful lot of details to consider when minimizing AC use. For example, the many appliances in your home, appliances that you wouldn't think could affect your home's temperature, can be sly sources of heat.
Take care to turn off computers, monitors, and other electronics when not in use. Avoid cooking with your cooktop and oven, and use your microwave instead. If your dishwasher has a delay function, set it to run late at night when you're asleep.
Use these tips and tricks to stay cool without ending up in the poor house, and feel free to share your summer efficiency tips with us!