Summer’s no time to be a slouch about conserving energy. When the mercury rises, it can be tempting to crank up the A/C. But we can slash our energy bills, reduce greenhouse gases, and lower the likelihood of summer blackouts by being conscious of our energy use.
Summer’s actually one of the best seasons to save. Here are 10 seriously easy ways to cut your energy use, while upping your enjoyment of the season.
1 Dress like you’re on vacay. Why the heck are you wearing khakis and socks at home?! The less you wear, the higher you can set your thermostat (aim for 25°C), and the more energy you can save. So get out the shorts/tees/tanks and or sundresses!
2 Get grilling. Barbecuing outdoors avoids heating up your kitchen (which often causes us to blast the AC).
3 Take your entertaining outdoors, too. Why dine indoors (and use extra lighting and AC), when you could dine al fresco?
4 Join the fan club. A ceiling fan saves you mucho dinero by maximizing air circulation. Paired with open windows or screen doors, fans allow you to restrict energy-guzzling AC to just the hottest days. Check out Dyson’s new bladeless-technology fan. At last: tabletop and floor fans chic enough for even the most discerning homes!
5 Garden strategically. Plant deciduous trees and shrubs against the south and west sides of your home. In summer, the leafy foliage shades against solar heat, while in winter, bare branches let warm sunlight stream into your home. As shade trees grow, so do your energy savings. According to the US Department of Energy, three big shade trees will chop as much as $250 off your annual energy bill.
6 Add a storm door. Today’s airtight, all-season doors don’t require storm doors. But consider adding one anyway. Why? Having the option means you can open your home to cross-breezes. If all you’ve got is an all-season door, air conditioning is your default.
Lead image courtesy of Pottery Barn.