By July 29, 2013 Read More →

How to Stay Cool and Green During Summertime

stay-coolElectricity bills tend to rise during the summer season, don’t you think? For those who are not so keen on their utility bills, you might pass for this article. However, if you think that you need to do something for our environment, at least you look into ways on how you can lower energy consumption. While some electricity providers use solar power energy and hydropower energy, some providers are actually using fossil fuels to be converted into energy. The last option is the most destructible of all since fossil fuels are unsustainable forms of energy. Whether you want to help our environment or simply save and lower electricity bills for your child’s birthday party in the next five months, learning the factors that affect electric costs is a must. Research shows that there are two main reasons why energy consumption at home rises during summer days: use of air conditioner and frequent opening of the refrigerator. Now that we know the culprit, we could then move on to the ways on how we can lower our use of the mentioned appliances and stay cool during summer months without necessarily hurting our planet.

Wear summer appropriate clothing – This is a no-brainer tip to keep cool during summer months. When the sun’s scorching heat has taken a toll on your mood, slip on some shorts and tank tops. These are the easiest and the fastest solutions to keeping your body cool despite heat. Wearing light colored clothing, particularly white and changing bed linens and bed sheets to the lighter choices are another ideal ways to keep yourself and your bedroom cool. Make sure to choose linens that are light-colored and are made of fabric, too. Hence, it is high time to start rummaging for those sexy clothes that you’ve been dying to wear last winter.

Close shades and windows – While you want to let fresh air get in our house, you also let the sun’s heat get in the house, which could add up to your summer woes. Hence, keep blinds down in the parts of the house where immediate sunlight is felt. Similarly, use light-hued curtains and curtains made of thin and cool fabric. This allows light air to be felt in the house.

Turn OFF unnecessary lighting in any part of the house – Turn OFF bedroom lights or kitchen lights if you’re not using them at noon. They emit unnecessary heat that’s only welcomed during the winter days. In line with this, diminish the use of gas stove and the gas add up to the summer heat.

Avoid using appliances and equipments that eat up a lot of energy – Appliances like treadmills, washing machine, and dryer use up a lot of energy. Avoid using them and utilize the sun’s heat by putting your laundry in the clothesline to sun dry. This is a very efficient and green way to dry clothes. Summer months are also the best time to wash bulky bed sheets and towels to get ready for the next winter months.

Use electric fan – Electric fans use less energy compared to air conditioners. It cuts at least 80% off from your AC energy and it’s way cheaper than an AC, too. While it somehow emits hot air during hot days, moving hot air is more endurable than stagnant hot air. You can opt for a wall fan, ceiling fan, or a stand fan, whichever type helps you feel cooler and comfortable. On the one hand, there aplenty of hand held, rechargeable fans these days that are cheaper. If you want a greener method, go for paper fans instead.

Open windows at night and in the afternoon only – Avoid opening windows from 9am to 3pm as the sun is hottest during these times. Consequently, letting in cold air at night and in the afternoon is a good way to feel cooler in most time of the day. If you have attics, it is advisable that you open attic windows to let cool air get in during the night.

Minimize working rigorously indoors – When the heat is quite unbearable, it is okay to dismiss some major cleaning at home like scrubbing floors and bathroom tiles. Opt for light jobs like vacuum cleaning in some parts of the house only, sweeping, and wiping windows. Sweating out can increase your body heat, which can add up to your summer woes.

Produce a DIY conditioner – Ever heard about it? Prepare a fan, metal bowl with salted ice, and glasses. For every glass, put 70% rock salt and 20% water and leave the 10% for air. Freeze all glasses overnight and use it at noontime when it’s the hottest. Position the fan where it should be blowing in front of the glasses and the air should go directly to your area. You can re-use the melted ice, put it in the reef to freeze, and enjoy your DIY AC again.

Minimize opening and closing the refrigerator – Technicians have told me for the past few years that frequent opening of refrigerator can apprently add up to your electrical bill. Refrigerators tend to consume more energy when it’s opened frequently than when it’s opened occassionally. Therefore, if you need to get something from the refrigerator, do it at once.

Install a whole house fan or an attic fan – It’s called as such because it is usually placed at the attic rooftop and used to let cool air from the outside get into the house. It is one of the most conventional methods to let cool air in without feeling guilty for the environment because it consumes lesser energy compared to ACs.

Lick your favorite popsicle – As for me, I love Magnum. Anyway, popsicles never fail to make us cool instantly. Buy and share these with your family and have fun eating them at noontime.

Drink more cooler water – To avoid frequent opening and closing your ref, grab a big pitcher that’s enough to make several glasses for the entire household. Fill it with water and ice cubes. Quest your thirst with this quick cooling liquid. It is very important to keep hydrated during summer because it can take a toll on your skin and your health.

Go to the beach – What is the most fun way to enjoy the summer? Grab your favorite bikini, a pair of hot sunglasses, a huge hat, favorite sunscreen, beach towels and mat, and, of course, your family, and drive to the beach or a local resort. Enjoying the blue waves is always an ideal way to avoid feeling suffocated in the house during the summer season. However make sure to get out of the sun between 10am-3pm as the sun’s rays during these times can cause skin cancer.

Cool  bath in the tub – Don’t time to hit the beach? Don’t fret because you can instantly cool down right in your bath tub. Fill it with cool water that your body can adjust and soak. You can have a cool, 20 minute bath with cucumber on your eyes for a relaxing session during the summer season.

Use mint – This is the best time to use mint. Remember how mint gums and candies tend to leave a cooling sensation in your mouth? Let it do the same to your skin, too, by using skin lotion and cream with mint.

You see, there are tons of ways to avoid using the air conditioning system during the hot months. All you have to do is to add creativity to your ideas. You can even opt to go to the theater and stay for an hour or two and sleep! No one will kick you out from the room as long as you paid the tickets.

Posted in: Cool, Energy

About the Author:

A senior writer and editor of The Green Guide and a father of 3 kids (1 girl and 2 boys). Rob's special interests include geography, enviroment study and hiking. Rob has traveled to over 100 places in 30 different countries in the past three years. His exotic and fun experiences will be talked in his new book which is going to be published soon.

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