Temperatures are going up and everybody is feeling happy! We have all missed a sunny day and carrying less clothing around. But after a few days, it seems like it will be hard to survive the whole summer if temperatures continue rising.
“Fear no more the heat o’ the sun” as William Shakespeare would say. We have 5 tips you can apply now to cool your home and just enjoy the summer.
1.Change light bulbs
If you still have those old incandescent light bulbs in your home, you should change them this summer. They are cheaper than LED lamps but consume much more energy and can incur in total costs 4 times greater in the long term. The reason for this is that incandescent bulbs use 90% of the energy to produce heat and only 10% to emit light. Change for LED light bulbs to save money and make your home cooler this summer.
2. Reduce use of heat generating appliances
Light bulbs are not the only items in your home that generate heat either as an adverse effect or not. Hair dryers, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, toasters, computers, TVs and much more. You should keep those turned off when not in use and reduce their use during the hottest periods of the day whenever possible. You can opt for drying your hair at night or early morning, doing the dishes manually with cold water during the day and preparing salads and cold food during day time.
3. Make use of shading and blinds
Another easy way to prevent your home from overheating is making use of shading devices and blinds. They reduce the amount of heat entering your home through windows and other openings. External shading such as horizontal and vertical fins, brise soleil, shutters, louvers, awnings, overhangs and vegetation are more efficient as they stop sun rays before they enter the house. You can read this post on how to position these devices to optimise temperature control in all seasons. We also explain how to use internal shading such as curtains and blinds while making the most of natural lighting.
4. Use natural ventilation
Natural ventilation occurs through air entering and exiting your home because of air pressure difference between outside and inside. This phenomenon can be boosted through opening your windows, doors and other openings in the house in appropriate ways. You can create cross ventilation by combining openings in perpendicular and opposite walls, and stimulate stack effect to eliminate hot air from your home while allowing cooler air in. We have many sketches in this post explaining how to do this depending on your floor plan. You can also take advantage of overnight ventilation by leaving some of your windows open during the night, as long as it is safe to do this where you live.
5. Consider a ceiling fan
If after following all the other 4 tips you still think your home is too hot, consider using a ceiling fan before resorting to air conditioning. They consume less than 10% of the energy used by air conditioning and are very efficient, reducing thermal sensation 2 to 4º C. They are more efficient than floor and desk fans because they boost stack effect, helping to exchange hot air for cooler air in your home. Ceiling fans can also be combined with air conditioners in the case of extremely hot weather to reduce consumption as you will be able to set its thermostat at least 2 º C higher.
We provided 5 easy tips you can apply now without any professional help to increase comfort in your home this summer. You can easily buy and install yourself the additional devices we recommended such as light bulbs, blinds and shadings. Simple habit changes can also contribute a lot and are just a matter of reminding yourself often. You can use sticky notes to remind you to turn off appliances when exiting a room. Sticky notes can also be used on windows to remind you the best way to open them in order to improve ventilation. Enjoy the summer and Green It Yourself… Now!