Here in the South, the weather has definitely taken a turn toward the sweltering. There have been some unseasonably warm days already, with highs in the 90s, and the temptation to flick the switch on that A/C unit to “on” is very strong. Before using the air conditioner, consider this: home cooling accounts for 5 percent of the energy we consume in the U.S. each year. That’s about 140 million tons of CO2 emissions annually! Here are some ways to fight that urge by keeping your house cooler naturally.
1. Keep the shades drawn during the day. When sunlight streams through the windows, it creates a miniature greenhouse effect in your home.
2. Reflect the heat. If you do want to open the windows, consider investing in some reflective window film to help keep the heat outside where you want it to be.
3. Let the cool evening air in. If temperatures are on the chilly side after the sun goes down, crack a few windows open to let a breeze come through and cool the house. Just be sure to close them before the temperature starts to rise again!
4. Insulate! You want to keep cool air inside, so grab that caulk gun and seal off anywhere that air might be escaping. A handy draft dodger can help seal up those tricky leaks at the bottoms of doors and windows.
Up next: more ways to keep cool without A/C!