Finding ways to keep cool during the heat of summer does not have to be difficult and pricey. Efficiency Nova Scotia has some easy and cost- effective tips to help you beat the heat – and save energy.
1) Open and shut windows and curtains at the right time of day
On really warm days, shut windows and curtains to help keep heat out. Open them in the evening to let cool air in. If you have unoccupied rooms in your house that are difficult to keep cool, shut the door to these areas so they don’t heat the rest of your house.
2) Use fans strategically
If you have ceiling fans, be sure to use them the right way. In the summer, this means running fans to create a downdraft. Fans create a cooling effect for people through evaporation. The movement of air over your skin evaporates moisture on your skin’s surface. This pulls heat away from your body, creating a cooling effect for you. Remember that ceiling fans cool people, not rooms, so turn the fan off when you’re not using the room.
3) Think about what you eat and how you prepare food
Keep well hydrated and consider eating cold foods such as watermelon, frozen yogurt or salads. If you do cook, consider using the BBQ or the microwave since they won’t add heat to your house, whereas using the stove or oven will warm up your kitchen and use more electricity.
4) Install awnings & plant trees
Installing awnings around windows or planting leafy trees on the south facing side of the house (where the sun is during the day), and putting flowers or shrubbery around window sills can help keep the direct heat of the summer sun away from your windows. This also works in the winter, when the leaves are off the trees and the awning allows the lower winter sun to provide wanted heat at your windows.
5) Control the humidity
An ENERGY STAR® qualified dehumidifier can help to keep things more comfortable on really humid days. Portable dehumidifiers are ideal for addressing minor moisture problems, but they are not an alternative for proper ventilation, such as energy-recovery ventilators that are now common in modern homes. Use exhaust fans or open windows when doing activities that produce moisture such as cooking, showering, washing or running the dishwasher. Let the exhaust fan run for about 10 min after showering. Drying your clothes outside won’t add moisture to your home and will save energy.
If you have an air conditioner make sure the vents are not blocked with drapes or furniture. Setting the thermostat at the higher end of the range will result in lower air-conditioning costs. Be sure to use natural ventilation of the house at night, when it is relatively cool, and run the air conditioner only when you are home during hot days, with the house closed up.
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