The heat of summer is fast approaching, and many people are already preparing for long days in the garden, family trips to the beach, and shopping for new seasonal clothes. Most people look forward to the warmer months of the year – due largely to the increased daylight and more opportunities for outdoor activity.
Summer doesn’t come without its drawbacks, though. Especially if you’re a home-owner, summer can be frustratingly hot, requiring you to use more energy to stay cool. The result: more expensive energy and utility costs. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the reality permanently.
Many home-owners aren’t aware of simple solutions they can take to minimise energy usage around the home during the hottest months of the year. To help our readers out, we’re going to look at a few simple changes anybody can make to reduce how much energy is used – and wasted – during the summer.
Install reflective curtains
One of the biggest ways homes absorb heat during the summer is through the windows. Whether it be due to dark curtains or no curtains at all, heat and light enter, get absorbed, and ultimately increase the ambient temperature. This results in your air conditioning having to run that much more to compensate.
Through the use of made to measure curtains, you can ensure that your windows are properly framed without excessive overhang or exposed areas where light can enter. By purchasing made to measure curtains that are either directly reflective or made with a white lining, you’ll reflect that excess heat back and away from the home.
Some estimates suggest that utilising white plastic-backed curtains can reduce home heat intake during the summer by as much as one-third. That’s a lot of heat that your home can be guarded against with the right curtain selection.
Purchase a smart thermostat
We all love to have control over our heating and cooling preferences, but what if you’re currently wasting tons of energy during the summer because of those preferences? Nobody wants to wake up or come home from work to a hot house, so if you have an air conditioning system installed, it can be tempting to leave it running.
Fortunately, technology has given us affordable options in this regard. There are many unique programmable and/or smart thermostats on the market to help home-owners manage cooling (and heating) schedules in the home during all hours of the day.
Smart thermostats can be used to access the thermostat from anywhere using a mobile device. Some even can detect when you’re nearing the house and will automatically kick on in advance of your arrival. Programmable thermostats are a much more budget-friendly option (many are available for as little as £25) that accomplish most of what a smart thermostat does but doesn’t allow for remote interaction.
Increase in-home ventilation
Especially during the summer, the air in our homes can become stagnant and humid, making even relatively mild temperatures feel miserable. Without a great ventilation system – as well as auxiliary ventilation options – the home can feel like a nightmare both day and night.
One easy and cheap way to improve ventilation in the home during the summer is to add a variety of fans to the home. Whether they be traditional box fans, ceiling fans or desk fans is entirely up to you, but most options are easy to set up and inexpensive for a seasonal solution.
The reason more ventilation is a great idea for saving energy is that proper ventilation via fans can allow you to raise the thermostat by 2ºC without any reduction in comfort.
Remove unnecessary heat sources
There are many sources of heat around the home that can add to energy costs during the summer months. While not every source of heat can be eliminated, you can improve the situation and minimise how much heat is being generated from inside the home.
Traditional light bulbs, for instance, give off quite a bit of heat. By investing in LED variants, you’ll use a fraction of the energy and emit virtually no heat whatsoever. Many people love to cook during the summer months, but energy-savvy home-owners know that using the stove (instead of the oven) is a better choice, as it emits far less heat when preparing meals.
Even the heat from your water heater can add up over time. Many people turn down the thermostats on water heaters to reduce overall energy consumption, but a secondary effect is that it will also emit less ambient heat into the air.
With summer fast approaching, you want to be ready to deal with the heat. However, you shouldn’t have to spend tons of money on cooling costs to maintain a comfortable climate. With these tips, you can drastically reduce the cost of cooling your home with relatively little work or investment – and these investments will continue to produce results year after year!