The Family Home Blog

Staying Cool with a Smaller Carbon Footprint

May 04, 2016
Diane Hoffmaster

A way to stay cool: Laundry drying on the line 

Summer is a wonderful time of year, unless you count the oppressive heat! Mornings may start out cool, but by the time midafternoon rolls around most people are holed up inside trying to keep the sweat out of their eyes. Many homes today have air conditioners to keep the inside cool, however they have a huge carbon footprint and are very expensive to run. There are a number of ways to keep your home cool that won’t drain your budget and aren’t harsh on our planet. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family a little bit cooler this summer.

Keep cooking to a minimum: We still need to eat in the summer, but choose meals that don’t require a lot of cooking. A slow cooker is a great alternative to a big pot cooking on the stove since they generate very little heat. If you have to cook something, consider doing it ahead of time in the morning when the house is cool.

Skip the clothes dryer: Drying your clothes in a dryer creates a ton of heat. Hang those clothes on the line instead and let Mother Nature do the work. This reduces your electricity usage and cost, while keeping the amount of heat generated in your home low.

Rethink your windows: Replacing your single pane glass windows with an insulated variety will help keep heat out and your cool air inside. In the long term, this will save you money, even if new windows aren’t cheap. If you can’t afford new windows, make sure to keep them covered with curtains to avoid letting in too much sunlight.

Dress for the heat: The house may not be as hot as you think it is. Maybe it’s just you feeling the heat more than others. Dress in loose, lightweight clothes made from breathable fabrics. Sandals let your feet breath and putting your hair up keeps the back of your neck cool. You may not need to turn the air conditioner down if you can cool your body off a little bit.

Install ceiling fans: Fans help keep the air moving, and even a small amount of current can help cool you off in the heat of summer and lower the need for costly and energy consuming air conditioning.

Get your air conditioner serviced before summer: Make sure your air conditioner is running in tip-top shape and that it has new filters. An air conditioner running efficiently will be significantly cheaper to run and much easier on the environment.

Have any other tips for staying cool this summer?

Photo courtesy of Diane Hoffmaster.

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