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It is easy to spend tons of money and consume great amounts of energy in your home during the hot summer months. Air conditioning alone, when used indiscriminately, can cost hundreds of dollars. And air conditioner use is a vicious cycle that contributes to increase in global warming and extreme weather patterns that will plague our children and future generations.
What can you do to keep your home and your family cool, as well as save money on energy bills and do your part to protect emissions contributing to global weather changes? You can do a lot.
Get lots of green ideas from these Eco-friendly and easy to implement home maintenance tips:
- Use air-conditioning only during the hottest, most humid days of summer.
- Make sure that your outdoor AC unit is in a shade (plant trees or bushes around it, if necessary) so it doesn’t have to work extra hard just to keep itself cool.
- Change your air conditioning unit filter and your HVAC system filter frequently, especially if you have pets. Clean filters allow the AC system to run more efficiently.
- Whenever possible, use high efficiency Energy Star appliances.
- Learn how to maintain your appliances so they run most efficiently and have a long life span. When your high efficiency appliances break, you can diagnose the appliance problem and replace the appliance part yourself. Information is readily available online.
- Cool your home during spring, summer and fall by opening your windows – keep windows open during night, early morning and late afternoon; during the hottest part of day cover windows with dark window shades to keep heat outdoors.
- During warm weather months use your dryer as little as possible. Dry your clothes, towels and linens outside on a clothes line or on a clothes drying rack. Even a small balcony will suffice.
- Run your washing machine, dryer (if you have to!) or dishwasher only in early morning or late evening when most people are not using their appliances – you will contribute less to the overload on the power grid system.
- Do use your dishwasher, but use it wisely – washing your dishes in a dishwasher actually saves water, but make sure to only run your unit when it is full of dishes, and to load it properly. Do not use the heat drying option, the steam will dry the dishes anyway and you will save energy.
- Always fill your washing machine (but don’t overfill it) and separate colors and whites. Run both colors and whites on cold water option – if separated your clothes will look beautiful and you will save energy and money as well.
- Use plant based detergents for your dishwasher and washing machine so you don’t pollute the environment.
- Your refrigerator is the most power hungry appliance in your home. Keep if running smoothly and efficiently by keeping if clean inside and outside. Make sure the coils under your unit are not dusty. Make sure that your refrigerator in not full of old and expired food, because the fuller the unit the more energy it consumes.
- Keep your home clean, cool and fresh, let the outdoors in and have a happy summer!