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The stifling summer heat of August is upon us! While air conditioners are a modern marvel we should all be thankful for, most of them are not particularly earth-friendly. They consume a significant amount of energy, cost money to use and maintain, and many air conditioners use liquid refrigerants that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during use.

This month, why not try a few “greener” cooling options to give your air conditioner, the planet, and your wallet a break?

Reduce HumidityReduce Humidity

It feels hotter when the air is humid because our sweat takes longer to evaporate in the moist air, preventing us from cooling down. Many common household appliances like dryers and dishwashers contribute to the humidity in our homes, so try drying your clothes outside a few days a week and air-drying your dishes can help reduce the mugginess. Your best bet is going to be investing in a dehumidifier, which helps suck moisture out of the air – just be sure to turn it off when not in use to save energy!


BlindsCover Your Windows

One of the most common ways for heat to enter your home is through your windows. Attaching blinds and other fixtures to your windows is a simple, easy way to help keep the house cool during exceptionally hot days. It may seem like only a small improvement, but putting up blinds and curtains can actually reduce the temperate inside your home by as much as 20 degrees.


Reduce Drafts

Check all of the doors and windows in your home. Are there any gaps between the bottom of the door and the floor? Are your windows sealing properly? If not, your home or apartment may be victim to rogue drafts that bring heat into the home and let cool indoor air seep outside.

Preventing indoor drafts is simple. If there are gaps between your door and the floor, stuff a towel or draft guard along the gap to stop the air from coming and going. For windows, check if you need to caulk any gaps around the window frame and if the window is fully closing.

Insulate Your AtticInsulate Your Attic

Heat rises, as anyone who has ventured into the attic during the summer months will tell you. In an attic without proper insulation, all of that hot air will radiate throughout your home. A fully insulated attic absorbs that heat, preventing it from moving around your house. Not only that, but it will also keep your house warmer during the winter months.


LED LightbulbsUse LED Lightbulbs

Incandescent lightbulbs – the common round bulbs with a filament we’re all used to – tend to give off a lot of heat during extended use. If keeping them off is a challenge, try replacing them with LED lights, which radiate far less heat. It’s a small change that may not benefit everyone to the same degree, but it can contribute to a lower ambient temperature in rooms with a lot of lamps and light fixtures.


FansBecome A Fan of Fans

Ceiling fans, window fans, personal fans: all of these will help keep you cool while keeping your summertime energy consumption to a minimum. While fans don’t necessarily produce cold air, circulating air around the room will help sweat evaporate more quickly, cooling your body down at a faster rate. Just make sure to turn off the fan if you leave the room!


Rethink Your RoofRethink Your Roof

If you’re a homeowner and plan on remodeling your roof any time soon, consider choosing light-colored shingles, paint or panels. A black or other dark-colored roof will attract more sunlight, radiating that heat around your house. If you live in an area that is hot during every season, this can significantly reduce the temperature around the home year-round.

 / Issue 172 - September 2018
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