Clever no-cost and low-cost cooling tips for your home
During the warmer months, soaring temperatures can have us rushing to lower the thermostat. Instead of blasting the air conditioner, check out these natural cooling tips to stay comfortable while controlling your energy costs. INSTALL A CEILING FAN. Of all the ways to cool your home, getting the air moving is the least costly and most energy efficient. A ceiling fan allows you to raise your thermostat by 4°C without affecting your comfort. Set blades to run in a counter-clockwise direction to circulate cool air downwards. SET TO SAVE. Set your thermostat to 25°C when you're at home. Raise it to 28°C — or turn it off — when you're away. HANG OUTSIDE. Your clothes dryer not only contributes to a warmer house, but is one of the biggest energy-consuming appliances. Hanging your laundry outside to dry not only helps you save on energy, it also saves on laundry products and keeps your fabrics looking brighter and lasting longer. COOL DOWN YOUR MENUS. One of the easiest things you can do is to avoid using appliances that heat up the home. In the summer, use the barbecue and add more cold foods and salads to your meal plans. CHECK HUMIDITY LEVELS. Humid homes feel hotter, so use exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas to expel the air directly outside. Avoid air-drying clothes inside your home and store firewood outdoors. TURN IT OFF. Lights, appliances and home electronics use a lot of power and give off heat. During the summer, it's more important than ever to turn them off when you aren't using them. DRAW THE CURTAINS ON HEAT. In the morning, open windows to let cool air in. Then close them and draw your blinds or drapes during the day. Your home will retain much of the cool morning air.