Picture by: Care_SMC
With the heat wave that hit Central Pennsylvania in July, a lot of homeowners are just now getting their energy bills. I’m pretty sure my face was the same as all of yours….shock! So, that started my research on more energy efficient, or “green”, ways to stay cool. I have put together some of the best and most practical tips and explanations that I could find on the internet in one place for you. Most of the tips will not make you change your entire way of life, just get you to the more green side of life one step at a time. Hope you find it just as helpful as I did and hopefully, I will be able to give you the same kind of tips for this winter when the time comes!
I can break down the following tips into kitchen, indoor, outdoor and general health and diet:
• Turn off appliances that give off heat including lights, computers, gaming systems, and surround sound.
• If possible, do not use the stove top or oven. If you must use the stove top, make sure the pilot light is turned down so it does not give off too much heat.
• Use outdoor cooking as much as possible, grill is the best option, but you can also look into solar ovens.
• Instead of using the dishwasher, which can give off hot steam, try air drying your dishes. It may take more time but won’t raise the temperature of your kitchen.
• Try to stay on the lower floors of your house since heat rises.
o If still uncomfortable, lie on your stone or tile floor.
o During my ROI blog, I found that finished basements are valuable. But especially during hot summer months since you can set up sleeping quarters there and stay cooler.
• Open opposite facing windows at night to support air circulation. During the day, keep them closed and shut thermal curtains and window coverings to keep heat out in the summer.
• Install an attic fan. Since most of the heat comes through the roof, this will help get the hot air out before it reaches the rest of the house.
• If desperate enough, drench a sheet or curtain in cold water and hand over open windows. It creates a cooler breeze.
• Fans are essential to being more green. Install ceiling fans properly or place fans in open windows. Make sure if they are adjacent windows, that one is cooling the air coming in and one is taking hot air out.
• Program your thermostat to 78. This will use the minimum amount of electricity and will still keep your house cool enough.
• Do your double green duty and plant large trees outside your house to create more shade in the summer and help block wind in the winter.
• Try using bamboo mats for outside chairs, they look great and work well in higher temperatures.
Health and Diet
• Make sure the fridge and freezer are stocked with water bottles.
• Eat small, light meals instead of heavy ones and incorporate high water-content fruits and veggies.
• When heading to the fridge, know what you are looking for and do not stand with the door open. Although it will cool you for a moment, it will use up a lot of energy.
• Eat spicier foods! Sounds a little strange, but spicy foods make you sweat but do not raise your body temperature. Once your skin is damp with sweat, it is cooled while it evaporates.
• Take a cold shower. It will cool your body temperature as well as make your skin and hair more radiant looking. It also stimulates circulation and closes pores.
• After your cold shower, skip the lotion and use aloe vera. Once it is spread, it has a very cooling effect.
• In between showers, use a spray bottle to wet your skin at your pulse points, especially the wrists and allow a fan to blow on it.
• And finally, change your wardrobe! Wear a lot of pure cotton and linen. Those fabrics are much more breathable than synthetic ones.
I hope these tips helped you as much as they did for me at my house so that next month a smile forms on your face instead of shock.