Thursday, July 22, 2010

10 Tips for Staying Cool (and Green!) This Summer:

It is no big surprise that our energy bills increase during the summer months. Looking for a way to reduce your energy costs while saving money? Turn to these helpful tips to stay cool this summer.

1. Program your thermostat to work around your family’s summer schedule. Be sure to set it a few degrees higher (such as 78 degrees) when no one is home, so your cooling system isn’t cooling an empty house. With proper use, you can save almost $180 a year in energy costs by simply programming your thermostat!

2. Remember to run your ceiling fan to create a cool breeze. If you raise your thermostat by only two degrees and use your ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent. But also make sure to remember to turn your ceiling fans off when not in use.

3. Pull the curtains and shades closed before you leave your home to keep the sun’s rays from overheating the interior of your home. Try moving container trees and plants in front of sun-exposed windows to serve as shade.

4. Start using more energy-efficient lighting choices. Swapping you’re your old incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient lighting not only uses less energy, but it also produces about 75 percent less heat. This can reduce your cooling bills as well.

5. Add insulation to your attic to keep cool air in. If every American household did so, Americans would collectively save more than $1.8 billion in yearly energy costs… so start insulating those attics!

6. If your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with a model that has earned EPA’s Energy Star could cut your cooling costs by 30 percent.

7. Start showering with cold water. During the summer, our body temperatures are much more hotter than usual. Therefore, enjoying a nice cold refreshing shower will help you stay cool, while also saving money and energy.

8. Smear on some aloe vera after your shower and get ready for a nice skin-tingling experience. Aloe vera has a cooling effect once it is spread on, so it can definitely help you cool down. For an even chillier experience, store your aloe gel or juice in the fridge before application.

9. Be sure to dress in clothes that are made with breezy organic cotton. It will help your body stay cool and comfortable during the heat. Breathable organic cotton fabric is the absolute key to warm-weather comfort while also staying green!

10. Eat more juicy fruits! The reason fruit becomes so tantalizing to us during those hot summer days is because our body screams for high moisture content foods. So start snacking on some grapes, berries, oranges, and watermelon… but try to keep your fruit selection local in order to reduce your carbon footprint!

For more helpful hints and tips, check out these two websites:

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