Beat the Heat the Green Way
Most of the country is in the midst of a heat wave. If you’re not – count your blessings. You’re lucky. The rest of us, however, want to cool off. We want to keep our houses cool, and we want to keep ourselves cool. How can you do that, and still lead a green life?
Face it – unless you’re as stoic as a Spartan, you’re going to have to run your air conditioning at least a little. It’s hard to face triple digit heat and keep that puppy turned off. You’ll be miserable. Remember, it’s not a crime to use energy. We all have to – let’s just do it the smart, green way.
Make sure your AC unit has been serviced recently. It can’t run efficiently if it’s not, and that wastes money. Spend the money on keeping it running the right way, and conserve energy use. Use energy efficient units when you can. They’re marked with an Energy Star.
Run ceiling fans and portable fans. They’ll cool off your home, and you’ll use your AC less.
Keep your lighting dim. Every light bulb you turn on emits heat. If you’re not using compact fluorescent bulbs, 90% of the energy is used to throw off heat. That might not be so bad in the winter, but it’s a killer in the hot summertime.
Make sure your windows and doors are blocking the air from outside. Remember in the winter when you blocked that cold air? Block the heat the same way. Use curtains and door draft blockers to keep the heat out and your house cooler.
Don’t cook in the heat of the day. Try to use the microwave or cook outdoor on a grill. If you must cook inside, wait until sundown. I sometimes cook several meals up ahead of time at night and just reheat them during the day in my microwave. Alternatively, use slow cookers. They’re ultra easy, and they don’t put out heat that can raise the temperature of your house.