Summer is on and for many of us that means one thing: the promise of a hefty electricity bill. For those of us that live in the North or Northeast, it is starting to feel like those bills never go down! We’ve grown accustomed to the convenience of air-conditioned living in these modern times, but for many of us who have needed to be more careful with how we spend our money, the costs of cooling our homes are simply too high. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can easily do at home to keep cool and save money.
1. Open and close the windows and keep the sun out with drapes, blinds, or shades.
It seems obvious enough, but many of us simply don’t utilize our windows to maximize their efficiency. In the early morning, when it’s still cool out, open up all the windows and doors in the house so that any breeze outside is able to roll through. As soon as the day starts to heat up, close up the windows to keep the cool air in and the warm air out. In the evening, open the windows and doors again.
2. Use fans.
Fans are a great way to circulate air around, creating a breeze indoors that can often be enough to cool off the apartment on a hot day. Ceiling fans are particularly effective and cost efficient. If you don’t have them installed in your home, you may want to consider have them installed because the price for a fan and its installation can be less than the price of running the air-conditioning all summer. Alternatively, using more than one oscillating fan in the same room can help create a breeze. You’ll want to position fans so that they pull air through a room, creating a draft, rather than having to point them right at yourself.
3. Take a cool bath or shower.
A dip in the pool can be just the thing on a hot day, but not all of us have the luxury of a backyard or a community pool in our apartment complex. Running a cool bath or shower can be a great way to cool down on a hot day and one that costs very little in terms of energy and money. You may find, after cooling your body down, that the house isn’t as hot as it seemed to be.
4. Have a popsicle or a glass of ice-cold lemonade.
Just like cool water on the outside of you, cool or cold water on the inside can help you cool down. Sitting down to relax with a cold drink or frozen snack can be just the thing to make the heat of midday seem less oppressive. You can even make your own popsicles with toothpicks, juice and an ice cube tray to save money and cut back on sugar. Or check out this honeydew-lime popsicle recipe from Epicurious!
5. Turn the AC on, just don’t leave it on.
Sometimes it’s just so hot that the cold wind of the air-conditioning is the only thing that will help. While it’s expensive to use, both for your wallet and the environment, using the AC sparingly can help on extremely hot days. They key with the AC is to use it only when you need it (like an hour before you go to bed), instead of leaving it set to 80 degrees at all times.
Have tricks for keeping your apartment cool while saving money? We’d love to hear about them here or on our Facebook page!