10 Tips to Live Without or Reduce Your Use of Air ConditioningJuly 23, 2012 No Comments
With summer in full swing here in St. Louis, it is hard to imagine living without the air conditioner. Since May, we have had many record highs shattered. We are in a severe drought. The average temperature for July will be about 100 degree. With little to no relief outside, you have to go inside to the air conditioning to seek relief. This is causing electric bills to pile up. Here are a list of 10 tips compiled by Treehugger.com to help you reduce your use of air conditioning:
- Know How to Dress- I know we have to look nice and sometime it can be hard in the summer to get comfortable with what you are wearing. Wearing light colors will help deflect the sun and keep you cool. Women, try wearing dresses and skirts.
- Install Awnings- These shade the window and keep the sun out. Simple. Most people don’t favor awnings because of how they look. The Department of Energy estimates that awning can prevent the amount temperature rises by about 65% depending on which direction the window is facing.
- Plant vines- Climbing vines can dramatically reduce maximum temperatures by shading walls from the sun and can reduce temperature fluctuation by up to 50%. Vines can also keep your home warm in the winter.
- Plan a tree- Trees provide us with shade in the summer and sun in the winter. It is estimated that by planting a tree, energy savings can be as high as 50%. “Trees provide a cooling bonus. To keep themselves cool, trees pump water from the ground into their leaves. As this water evaporates from the surface of the leaves, it cools the tree. This “evaporative cooling” cools the surrounding area, too,” said Oikos.
- Tune your windows- If you have double hung windows, open the bottom section of the upwind side of the house and the upper section of the downwind side, and the low pressure will suck the air through your house.
- Install operating shutters- Shutters are a great way to adjust the temperature of your house from the outside. They are often overlooked by Americans, but are a great invention. They provide ventilation, security, shading and storm protection in one simple device.
- Install exterior blinds- These are very hard to find and get in America, but they are all the rage in Europe. Like shutters, they keep out heat while protecting you from the outside elements and give you increased security.
- Get an attic fan- Attic fans provide good ventilation and eliminate the need for air conditioning most evenings.
- Don’t cook hot food inside- Grilling is great for the summer. There is no reason to use the oven or stove when it is so hot outside because it heats up the kitchen and then the house causing you to use more air conditioning.
- Make the right choices- You have the choice whether to let the sun in or not. Tape up your ducts, turn off your computers and save your money. The simple, low-tech tried and true methods cost less, save more energy and work forever.
Do you have any tips or trick you use to conserve energy during the summer? Share them here!
Written by: Alyssa Shyken
Eco Office, Everything Environmental, Leafy Tips