During the summer people are often left with a decision to make. They need to decide whether they would like the save money, or keep the home cool and be comfortable. Running the air conditioning daily can sky rocket your energy bill and really take a toll on your finances. Below are a few ways that you can keep you home cool, without running the AC, saving you money in the long run.
Use Alternative Methods of Cooking
While it may be hard to entirely switch cooking styles, using the oven and the stove create a lot of heat in the household. These appliances produce heat, that heat is then transferred to the air around it causing the temperature of the kitchen to rise. This then starts to slowly move throughout the house causing the home to be a few degrees warmer than intended. There are many other options when it comes to cooking, and some of them are arguably better than using the traditional stove and oven.
The first option is grilling. Personally, I prefer grilling to other cooking methods regardless, so if I can keep my home cool in the process then it’s a win-win. There are many great foods that go great on the grill, if you’re looking for inspiration here are some great options.
The other option is cooking using a Crock Pot. A Crock Pot can be used inside, but the method at which the cook food differs from the traditional method. It simmers the food on low heat for an extended period of time. The concept behind this is that all of the flavors in the food will slowly meld together while simmering. The result is usually very tender, “fall off the bone,” meat and vegetables filled with flavor. If you need any ideas these are the best Crock Pot recipes I have found.
Switch to Different Lights
This is something that had never crossed my mind before writing this article. I was aware that there were a few different options when it came to light bulbs, but I didn’t think that they affected the temperature of the room. However, in reality it is quite the contrary.
Compact Fluorescent Lights, known as CFL’s, use significantly less energy than the common incandescent lights. This is because CFL’s produce light differently than incandescent bulbs. In traditional incandescent lights, the light is created by an electric current running through a wire filament. Once that filament heats to a certain temperature it starts to glow. As you can imagine, this creates heat, which will keep the home warmer than intended. If they are left on for an extended period of time, these lights turn into mini space heaters!
CFL’s generate light differently. Essentially, what happens is an electric current is run through a tube containing argon and mercury vapor. This creates an ultraviolet light that stimulates a phosphor coating emitting visible light. This significantly reduces the heat that is emitted from the light bulb itself and can actually save you money on your energy bill. In instances where a traditional light would use 100 watts of electricity, CFL’s only use about 23-28 watts. They also last 3-25 times longer than their traditional counterpart! These lights are a great way to save money and reduce heat in the household.
Fans are a great way to keep your house cool during the hot summer months. There are a few ways that fans can be utilize to ensure that the interior climate of the home remains cool. The first would be to make sure that your ceiling fans are rotating counter-clockwise, and fast during the summer. This keeps cold air cycling through the room. Note that during the winter months, the fan should do the opposite, rotate clockwise at a slower speed.
Another trick for using a stand-up fan or a desk fan, would be to put a bowl of ice directly behind the fan. The cold air that is coming off the bowl of ice will then be pushed through the fan creating a makeshift air conditioning system. It’s not a perfect fix, but it is a way to cool off after a long summer’s day. The only down side is that you have to continuously get up every time the ice melts.
Finally, take full advantage of the exhaust fans that are in the home. This includes the ones located on the ceiling of the bathrooms and the fan in the kitchen. Some homes may even have other exhaust fans located elsewhere, especially if they are older homes. These fans can work to bring hot air out of your house by sucking it up through the vent. Hot air rises, so it is good that these fans and vents are located on or near the ceilings in their respective rooms.
Replace Your Windows
This would serve a variety of purposes, but one of the main benefits would be that it keeps the home cool. Older windows are insulated with Argon, a gas that is 6 times denser than air. While this does help insulate the home, according to Handyman 30% of unwanted heat comes from windows. Windows that are insulated with Krypton, which is 12 times denser than air, provides up to 40% more insulation for the home. This means that Krypton insulated windows keep cold air in and hot air out.
These windows offer other benefits including, more light in the home, interlocking system to prevent water from getting in the windows, strong glass that is extremely hard to break, as well as virgin vinyl window frames to eliminate deterioration. If you are looking to upgrade the windows in your home and save on your energy bill, here is our favorite choice of Krypton insulated windows.