As the days are warming up, you may be starting to feel the heat in your home. Your first instinct may be to reach for the air conditioner remote, set the temperature to a comfortable chill and let the air conditioner do the job.
Sure, this might cool down your home, but is it the most cost-effective way? We all know how expensive our electricity bills can be, so how can we keep the home cool in the summer without a huge power bill? Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind as the days get warmer to help you to keep your cool, keep your costs down and make the planet happy as well.
1. WEAR COTTON
Whether you’re at home or outside in the sunshine, the type of clothing you wear can help you to stay cool. Opting for clothing that is manufactured using natural cotton, will allow air to circulate around the body a lot easier than synthetic materials. As well as the material, choose clothing that is loose to allow for some much needed air flow. You will notice that you are a lot cooler in loose, cotton clothing as opposed to tight, synthetic fabrics.
2. WEAR LIGHT COLOURS
If possible, the best colours to choose are light in colour, such as whites and pale pastels. Why? Light coloured fabrics have the ability to reflect heat away from the body, whereas darker coloured fabrics actually absorb heat and pull it in towards your skin. This is why you may notice that wearing black on a hot summer’s day makes you feel rather uncomfortable. Whether you’re staying inside or spending the day outdoors, choose some light coloured clothing to keep your body temperature stay as low as possible.
3. ADJUST YOUR CEILING FANS
Some people don’t realise it, but the ceiling fans in your home generally have two settings; winter and summer mode. The modes are changed by selecting the correct season on the switch directly on your fan. The main difference between these settings is the direction the fan turns. Because heat rises, the winter mode circulates air so that hot air is pushed downwards, whilst in summer mode, the hot air is pulled drawn instead.
4. OPEN THE WINDOWS
Some people will go straight to the air conditioner to cool the home down, but sometimes all you need is good air flow. By opening all of the windows and doors, you may find that this air circulation is enough to get hot air out of the house and have it replaced by cooler, outside air. The air flow will also help with allergies and any lingering smells.
5. SOAK YOUR FEET
This is not only a great way for you cool off, but you have a perfectly good excuse to sit back and relax! As blood runs close to the skin’s surface around your feet and ankles, dipping your feet into some cool water is just what you need to chill out – literally. You can also add some epsom salts to the water, maybe even some eucalyptus or peppermint essential oils, for the deluxe version of a relaxing foot soak that also reduces your body temperature.
6. TAKE A COLD SHOWER
Sometimes, you just need to get your body temperature down, and fast! One of the quickest ways is to jump into a cold shower and let the brisk water do the trick. Just staying under a cold shower for five minutes could be enough to help you cool down. Focus on areas such as the wrists, elbows, underarms and back of your neck for quicker relief. A speedy cold shower is also great for invigorating your circulation.
7. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS
You may have noticed that when all of the lights are on the room seems to feel a little warmer. That’s because light bulbs produce heat – even energy efficient light bulb options – adding unnecessary heat to any room. Keep your lights to a minimum and if possible, turn them all off. You’ll be able to have a cooler home in no time. Even electronics such as tablets, laptops and other household gadgets will give off heat, so when possible, unplug and turn them off.
8. MAINTAIN YOUR AIR CONDITIONER
If you really need to use the air conditioner, make sure it is in good condition. This means you should have it maintained and ensure that when it is in use, it’s going to be working to its best potential. This includes keeping filters clean, ensuring the temperature is reading correctly and all other features are in good working order. If you’re not sure on how to do this, an air conditioning professional will be able to service your unit and ensure it is ready for the warmer months.
Whether you’re trying to stay cool indoors, going out with the family on a hot day, or trying to get a good night’s sleep, there are a few simple tricks you can utilise to easily stay cool, without making your electricity bill sky-rocket. Most of these tips are simple and don’t require any expensive purchases, and many of them are using equipment or items that you may already own. By using some good old fashioned common sense, and some simple tricks, you’ll enjoy a cooler, more comfortable summer.