Summer is almost here, and if you're already worried about high energy bills putting a dent in your budget, now is the time to start planning for the hot days ahead. Making sure you're not being overcharged for electricity, and taking steps to make your living space more energy-efficient can help reduce your monthly electric bill - while keeping your living space at a comfortable temperature. Here are some cost-efficient ways to keep cool this summer:
Keep the windows covered. Allowing sunlight to spill into rooms can quickly heat up space. Use blinds or window coverings to block out sunlight so rooms stay cool. Pick one or two windows for allowing the sun in, and leave the rest covered for better temperature control.
Take frequent showers. If you live in a humid climate, you may already be taking two showers a day just to stay cool. Taking frequent showers in cold or cool water can help regulate your body temperature. Remember to keep shower sessions short, so you don't end up spending extra money on water.
Cool down with a cold washcloth. Put a wet washcloth in the refrigerator so you can chill your face with a cold towel when temperatures start to rise. A cold washcloth around the back of your neck can also be soothing and relaxing after a stressful day in the summer.
Rearrange your sleep space. The upper levels of your home will be warmer during the summer months since heat rises. If you have a furnished basement or a guest bedroom on a lower floor of your home, consider moving downstairs for the summer to stay cool and comfortable come bedtime.
Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated isn't just good for your health; drinking water throughout the day can also help you stay cool and refreshed. If you don't like the taste of plain water, add mint leaves or slices of lemon and cucumber for a tasty, calorie-free beverage.
Wear loose-fitting clothing. Clothes made with light and woven fabrics, such as cotton and linen, will keep you cool and comfortable. In addition, wearing loose-fitting clothing in lighter colors can help you battle the summer heat.
Open the windows only at night. If the outside temperature lowers during the night, open the windows to allow cool air to circulate throughout the home; just make sure to get up early enough in the morning to close the windows and blinds before the outside heat pours in.
Limit the use of kitchen appliances. Avoid baking and cooking for long hours, as the heat from a stove or oven can circulate throughout the home. If you live in a studio apartment or a small home, even turning the oven on for a short period of time will heat up the living space fast. Prepare meals on one day of the week so you can keep the stove and oven turned off the remainder of the week.
Can you cut your electric bill in half with solar panels? Learn more about green energy from Sabah Karimi's blog on WiseBread.com.