Beat the heat: 8 ways to keep your home cool and save on power this summer
Summer is upon us and that means things are about to get hot and humid. It might be tempting to crank up the air-con over the summer months, but there are plenty of other ways to keep your home nice and cool without racking up your power bill.
Freshen up your home this summer with these energy-friendly home cooling tips.
1. Swap out your bed sheets
Steamy summer nights got you tossing and turning? Your choice of bed sheets could be to blame.
Flannel and fleece might be your best buds when you want to hibernate the winter away, but they have no place on your bed in summer. The same goes for silk - even though it feels light and luxurious, silk actually traps heat.
Instead, you want to look for light, natural fabrics. Cotton is a decent option, but if you really want to beat the heat look for linen, bamboo or percale sheets. Linen breathes remarkably well and has excellent moisture-wicking properties, while percale somehow always manages to feel crisp and cool to the touch.
2. Draw your curtains to block out the sun
Drawing your curtains doesn't just keep your home warm in winter - it can keep your place cool in summer, too!
The strategy is simple: just keep your curtains or blinds closed from early afternoon through to the early evening when the temperature starts to drop, paying special attention to the side of the house where the sun comes in. Blockout curtains are specifically designed to block out sunlight, and are worth considering if you're planning on renovating in the near future.
3. Turn off the gadgets
Every appliance and device in your home generates some level of heat, which can contribute to the overall temperature of your indoor living spaces. Some electronics (like your cellphone) generate an almost imperceptible amount of heat, while others (like your oven, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner and desktop computer) - are major heat producers.
Keep your home cool by switching off your heat-producing appliances if you're not using them. Remember that appliances still drain energy when they're in standby mode, so keep gadgets switched off at the wall to save even more on your power bill over summer. And if you're still using incandescent light bulbs, now's the time to make the switch - about 90 percent of the energy that goes into those bulbs is released as heat rather than light.
4. Turn your hot water bottle into a cold water bottle
The simplest ideas are so often the best. If you're feeling the heat this summer, fill your hot water bottle up to about halfway with cold water and pop it in the freezer. After a few hours, take it out and plop it on your back, legs, stomach or neck to instantly drop your body temperature a couple of degrees.
It's important to note that freezing a hot water bottle can potentially damage the seal. In the interest of safety, we recommend not filling the same hot water bottle with hot or boiling water when winter rolls around.
5. Insulate your home
You've probably heard all about how insulating your home can help reduce heat loss in winter, but you might be surprised to learn that insulation is equally important for keeping your home cool over summer. Insulation acts as a thermal barrier, preventing cool indoor air from escaping and stopping warm outdoor air from getting inside.
Most heat transfer takes place in your roof, which means it's the most important area to insulate, followed by the floors and then the walls. Retrofitting insulation isn't easy or particularly cheap, but it really can make a huge difference to the temperature of your home and will also allow your heating or cooling systems to work much more efficiently.
6. Keep your doors closed
In summer, you're going to feel tempted to throw open your doors and windows in the morning to let in some fresh air. Resist that urge.
Why? Well, by about mid-morning, there's a good chance that the temperature outdoors is going to be higher than the temperature indoors. By opening up your doors and windows, all you're really doing is inviting a whole lot of hot, stuffy air into your home.
Your best bet is to open your windows at night to let the cool air in and close them in the morning to trap the cool air. On the other hand, it can also be a good idea to create some natural ventilation by opening up windows at opposite sides of your home and creating a cross draft. We'll leave this one up to you.
7. Move dinner outdoors
Slaving away over a hot oven is a sweaty ordeal at the best of times, but in summer it's enough to turn the whole house into a veritable sauna.
Hit pause on the Sunday roast over the summer months and move dinner outdoors. Firing up the barbie will help keep your house cool and reduce your power bill, while dining al fresco will allow you to make the most of that sweet, sweet summer breeze.
Check out this blog post for more tips on how to keep energy costs down in the kitchen.
8. Make your own ice blocks
Cool down from the inside out by making your own ice blocks! It's a great activity for the kids, and super affordable - most homeware stores sell plastic ice block moulds for just a few dollars.
There are a bunch of different homemade recipes you can try, but you can't go wrong with the following recipe:
- 1 can of peaches, drained
- 1 can of crushed pineapple in juice
- Zest of 1 orange
- Place the drained peaches in a food processor or blender.
- Add in the pineapple with juice, and the orange zest.
- Process the fruit until smooth.
- Pour mixture into ice block moulds and freeze until firm.
Simple and delicious!
There are many ways to keep energy costs down over summer - all it takes is a bit of creativity.
If you're looking for even more ways to save on power this summer, think about making the switch to Pulse Energy. Give us a call today on 0800 785 733 or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.