Clever no-cost and low-cost cool­ing tips for your home

The Hamilton Spectator - - REAL ESTATE -

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.

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