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Tips to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

By Emma Grant

As the temperatures rise, so does the cost of cooling your home, especially using an air conditioner. Though there are other options that don’t raise your energy bill quite significantly.

Air conditioners are a tempting temporary relief from the summer heat, but they are known as a huge environmental no-no, while cooling your home, the fossil fuels you’re burning in the process are only making our summers hotter. This summer try these environmentally friendly alternatives instead.

Fans and Ceiling Fans
• Ceiling fans are a great investment for your home, this one appliance can make a room feel 6-7 degrees cooler and even the most power-hungry fans cost less than $10 a month to use if you keep it on for 12hours a day.
• Make sure your fan switch is set to summer, you should feel the air blown downward

Shades and Blinds
• Install white window shades or blinds, this will reflect heat away from the house.
• Keep your home shut tight to keep cool air in during the day. Make sure that windows and doors have the proper seals to keep cool air in and warm air out. If you have older windows and doors, you may want to consider replacing them with more energy efficient aluminum windows and sliding doors. At night, give your cooling system a break and let the cool night air in.

Internal Heat
• The most common source of internal heat gain are; appliances, electronic devices and lighting. If you are using an air conditioner, use it wisely, don’t put lamps, televisions or other heat-generating appliances next to your air conditioning thermostat. The heat from these appliances will make it think your house is warmer than it really is, and your system will run harder than it needs to.
• You should also try to avoid heating activities, such as cooking on hot days or during the hottest part of the day. Cook a cool summer salad instead, or use your range hood to vent the hot air out of your house. By reducing the amount of heat in your home, you will use less energy to cool it.

Plants
• Plant tree or shrubs to shade air conditioning units, but beware not to block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses less electricity. Trees planted on the south and west sides will keep your house cool in the summer and allow the sunlight to warm the house during winter.

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