Summer is here! Which is music to most of our ears, unless you live in a desert climate melting over temps of 120 degrees. (In which case, we are really sorry.)
Whether you’re returning from a day playing in the sun or escaping the heat of the desert, the bottom line is you’re going to want your house to be nice and cool.
Unfortunately, a cool house does not come cheap.
According to a study by the The U.S. Energy Information Administration, Americans put more money into cooling their homes than any other use of electricity.
How not cool is that?
We sat down with heating and cooling expert Simon Alexander, who is also the founder of Canadian Furnace Prices, to get the 411 on keeping things extra cool this summer without breaking the bank.
One of the top things Alexander suggests is getting light colored curtains, and keeping them closed during the day.
“It’s a lot easier to keep your home cool if you keep it from warming up in the first place!” says Alexander.
If the first thing that pops into your mind is black-out curtains that make your home feel like a cave, don’t worry – Alexander says you just need to close the curtains that are directly facing the sun.
Prop those windows
Another great option to consider is using window fans at night, when temps tend to drop quite a bit.
However, be sure to pay attention to where you’re placing your fans, Alexander recommends.
Don’t place fans near windows adjacent to garbage or parking areas. You could find yourself smelling your neighbor’s rotting old meat, or inhaling the fumes of cars all day.
Is an AC unit out of your budget? Don’t worry!
Alexander suggests using a dehumidifier, as it is much more affordable and still packs a lot of punch.
“Often the worst part of being hot is the excess humidity clinging to your body. Human air transmits heat to your body much more effectively than dry air,” says Alexander.
Which is why, when you get rid of that humidity via a dehumidifier, you will finally feel like you can breathe.
Strip those sheets
Sorry to break it to you, but your favorite winter flannel sheets are not going to cut it during the summer.
Cotton is the way to go for the summer, as it is more breathable and stays cooler than other fabrics.
You may not need these cooling items year-round, but it’s great to have access to them at summertime. To make things easy for you, have Closetbox come and pick up your window fans, dehumidifier, flannel sheets, and heat-blocking curtains after summer is over.
Then, when temps start to rise again, give Closetbox a call and they will get those warmer weather necessities over to you ASAP.
Clean off that rusty BBQ
Chances are good you don’t use that BBQ you convinced your wife you absolutely needed to have nearly as much as you promised.
Your wife will not only be thankful that you’re cooking, she will also love that you are not heating up the house, and the cherry on top – you are keeping cooling costs down.
We can’t even count the number of wins in that situation.
Be economical about your AC
Rather than keeping your AC at one temp all day, vary it.
Decide what temp is the highest you can keep your thermostat at during the summer, and keep it there when you’re home and needing to be cool.
Then, when you leave for a bit, raise the temp higher since no one will be home.
We promise the annoying pain of changing your thermostat will be much easier than the sharp pain of paying that crazy high electricity bill.
Buy new bulbs
Now is the time to move your home over to using compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
Standard incandescent bulbs waste a whopping 90% of their energy in the heat the emit.
So toss out those old bulbs and get yourself some CFLs to keep things low, for both your house temperatures and your electric bill.
Need a quick fix?
If you feel like you’re about to explode from the heat, Alexander shared with us a bonus trip that anyone can do.
Step 1: Dampen a cloth
Step 2: Stick in the freezer for 10 minutes
Step 3: Take the cloth out and tie it around your neck
Why do this?
“This can be very effective at lowering body temperatures and making you more comfortable,” Alexander says.