As summer draws closer, I, Mark Roemer, know that everyone’s thoughts turn to barbeques, beaches, and long, warm days in the sun. Warm weather comes along with the much-anticipated summer festivities, but don’t immediately turn on the air conditioning. Using these simple tips for keeping your apartment cool, whether you have air conditioning or not, you can beat the heat without sacrificing your electricity bill. Your utility budget, as well as the environment, will be grateful.
Make Use of Ceiling Fans
Using fans can make a room feel up to seven degrees cooler, and they consume significantly less energy than an air conditioner. If you have multiple ceiling fans, make sure they are all spinning counterclockwise and turn them on high. Ceiling fans are not always available in rental properties, but this is not a problem. Purchase a few portable fans and strategically place them throughout your residence. A sizeable oscillating fan placed in a corner may be the most effective solution for larger rooms, such as living rooms and bedrooms. When working in a smaller space, such as an office, a small portable fan that sits on your desk may be sufficient. If it’s particularly hot outside, try placing a bowl of ice in front of the fan to cool down. It can be used as a makeshift air conditioner.
Another technique is to make use of exhaust fans. Ceiling fans and portable fans help cool a room, but exhaust fans help remove the hot air from the space. Using an exhaust fan over your oven while you cook or a bathroom fan while you shower will help to remove the hot air from your home or office space.
A box fan pointing out the window will function in the same way as an exhaust fan in that it will push the hot air out. Despite the fact that you won’t be getting any breeze from the fan, your room will be significantly cooler.
Ensure That Your Windows Are Covered
Window treatments aren’t just for aesthetic purposes; they can also help keep heat out. It is best to keep your blinds closed, especially when you are not home, to keep your apartment cool. If you don’t already have blinds, speak with your landlord about having vertical wood or faux wood blinds installed for privacy and energy efficiency purposes. The addition of curtains can help to spruce up your room while also cooling it down. Simple, light-colored fabrics work well to deflect the sun’s rays, as do light-colored shoes. Also, consider investing in insulated or blackout drapes to help keep the heat out of your home. Styles and curtain types are numerous, so experiment to see which one works best for your home and lifestyle. Try hanging your curtains just above the windows to give the illusion of a larger space!
Shut Off Heat Generators
Running electronic devices all day, such as your computer and television, will generate a significant amount of heat. When you’re not using electronics, make sure to turn them off and unplug them from the wall. Close the doors of any rooms that aren’t in use throughout the day in a similar manner. This makes it easier for the cool air to circulate through the open areas.
Make a schedule for when you’ll be using heat generators. If possible, avoid turning on the oven on a hot day or wait until the sun has set before cooking. The summer months are the best time to start cooking outside if you have a grill or a fire pit at your disposal. Other household chores, such as ironing and laundry, should be completed as the day becomes cooler.
Lightbulbs are another significant source of unnecessary heat generation. Saving money on energy costs and uncomfortable temperatures can be achieved by investing in the proper apartment lighting. Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs that generate less heat, such as LEDs, to save money on electricity. Make sure to turn off the lights when you leave a room, and instead of turning on the lights during the day, try to rely on natural lighting instead of artificial lighting.
Using The Air Conditioning Properly
While the goal is to figure out how to keep your apartment cool without using an air conditioner, some climates make this impossible or dangerous. As a result, you must ensure that you are utilizing it properly and efficiently. Your landlord may be required to provide an air conditioner if you do not have one. Check your state laws to see if this is the case.
The most energy-efficient temperature setting for an air conditioner is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This appears to be quite warm, but it should be pretty comfortable when combined with the tips and tricks listed above. If the 78-degree temperature still isn’t cutting it, be careful not to turn the air conditioning down too low. Setting the thermostat to 60 degrees will not cause your apartment to cool down any faster. It will only cause your unit to overwork and potentially incur exponential costs if you forget to return it to its normal operating temperature after you have finished. Decide on a temperature that is comfortable for you and try not to lower it any further. When you’re not at home, you can raise the temperature a few degrees. It will save you money on energy costs, but it may take a few minutes for the room to return to its original temperature. It is possible that this issue will be resolved if you have smart devices, such as a smart thermostat that can be controlled from your phone.
To keep your AC running smoothly, you should do more than just set the temperature on your thermostat. It is recommended that you change the filter at least once a month. Depending on your community, you may be able to request that your maintenance team or landlord replace the filter, or you may be able to take note of the size and type of filter and head to a hardware store to purchase one and replace it yourself.
If you live in a humid climate, you should consider purchasing a dehumidifier. Because it removes the excess moisture from the air, it will benefit your air conditioning system and make your space feel cooler and a lot less stuffy.
While most of these suggestions are geared toward your home, there are various things you can do to keep yourself cool on those particularly hot days. Drinking plenty of water is the most important thing you can do for your health. If you live in a sweltering climate, you must stay hydrated. It will help you stay cool and is beneficial to your health as well.
You’ll also want to consider the materials you’ll be using. Wear lightweight cotton or moisture-wicking materials and invest in seasonal bedding to keep cool in summer and warm in winter. Switch out your heavy quilt and extra blankets for a set of lightweight cooling sheets and pillows. If you find yourself feeling particularly uneasy at night, consider investing in a cooling mattress pad. It is unnecessary to spend an excessive amount of money to be cool and comfortable in your home. Perhaps these suggestions that I, Mark Roemer, have provided you will help you beat the summer heat without having to double your utility spending budget. Use your imagination to keep yourself cool and happy this summer!