Summer has always been synonymous with fun – and what’s not to love?
Beaches? Fun. Popsicles? Mega fun.
Scorching heat and high electric bills? Um… not so much.
If you’re in need of some respite from the heat, check out these tips to help you keep cool, while also lowering your carbon footprint.
The genius who invented blackout curtains probably deserves a Nobel prize. Or, at the very least, a high five. Not only do blackout curtains improve your sleep by reducing sunlight, they also do what regular curtains can’t: keep heat out during the summer and trap heat in during the winter. Better yet, they can even reduce your electric footprint significantly – some reports say up to 25% – which makes this tip a no-brainer. If you don’t feel like installing curtains (because let’s face it, who does?), a Tasker can do the job for you, while you sip a deliciously refreshing summer beverage.
When the Little Prince wisely said, “what is essential is invisible to the eye,” I’m pretty sure he was referring to insulation. For the unfamiliar, insulation is an additional, unseen barrier that lives in between the walls of your house – kind of like the meat in a salami sandwich (okay, now I’m hungry). Similar to blackout curtains, insulation keeps the heat out when it’s hot and in when it’s cold. It also makes your air conditioner more efficient since it doesn’t have to work as hard, which will decrease your carbon emissions.
First came the smartphone, then came the smart TV and then, naturally, the smart A/C. The brainiest of all A/Cs use machine learning to optimize your cooling patterns, which saves you money (some companies claim up to 15%). Is it weird that I think my A/C is smarter than me?
Ceiling fans are a cost-effective way to cool off while saving energy, and who doesn’t love a good deal? Fun fact: ceiling fans don’t actually cool a room – instead, they cool you by creating a wind chill that feels cooler to your skin. They also make your A/C more efficient: you can actually lower your A/C by four degrees without sacrificing comfort, when used in conjunction with a ceiling fan. All of this begs the question: can anyone think of a good reason not to install ceiling fans?
Imagine being able to eat all the pasta you want and never gain a pound – that’s kind of the way solar panels work. Not exactly, but by harnessing the sun’s energy to fuel your home, they can dramatically lower your carbon emissions on all gas and electricity (including A/C). The main consideration is that they can be quite costly, however you can help offset this by researching tax credits and payment plan options in your area.