There's nothing as welcoming on a sweltering summer day than to step into an air-conditioned room. But whether it's because your place doesn't have air conditioning, or you're looking to save money by cutting down on your air conditioning usage, or whether you're concerned about the significant effect of air conditioning on the environment, you'll want to practice the following habits to prevent excess heat from entering your home:
- If you're not home during the day, or if you're not occupying certain rooms during the day, keep your curtains and blinds tightly closed to prevent sunshine from streaming in and heating up your space.
- Make sure your doors and window frames are sealed with caulking or weather-stripping to seal any gaps and keep cool air in and hot air out. According to ENERGY STAR®, improving the insulation and sealing in your home can save you up to 15 percent on your annual heating and cooling costs.
- Switch out your old incandescent light bulbs with CFL (compact fluorescent) or LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, energy-efficient options that don't produce the heat of the old-style bulbs. While CFL and LED bulbs cost more up-front, consider them an investment as they will not only save you money by using less electricity, you won't have to replace them again for a long time.
- On very hot days, avoid using the oven if you can, as it will heat up not only your kitchen but can also affect surrounding rooms. Instead, enjoy outdoor grilling if available, or utilize your microwave or slow cooker.