The summer months are creeping in, the temperatures outside are creeping up, and for many of us, our minds are turning to the age-old question — how am I going to keep cool this summer?
Last year, Texas had its second-hottest summer to date, with Dallas-Fort Worth averaging a daily temperature of 88.2°F, and the reality is no matter where you live in the United States, climbing temperatures are likely to affect your summertime comfort.
In fact, it was the third-hottest summer on record for the entirety of the United States in 2022, with an average temperature across the country of 73.9° F. This year? Temperatures are once again predicted to be above normal — yikes!
Now you're probably thinking, okay, sure, but I'll just pop my air-conditioning on. And you could! But, with rising electricity costs, the reality is more and more homeowners are turning to ways of keeping their homes cool without using air-conditioning — and if this sounds like you, we've got a few tips to help make things easy.
Keep reading for four simple tricks to beat the heat, air-conditioner-free, this summer while saving money and energy at the same time.
Opening a window is the easiest way to help beat the heat when you don't have air conditioning, and here's why.
By opening up a few of the windows in your home, you create a system of natural ventilation, increasing air circulation throughout your house and helping to keep things cool.
How, you ask? Well, natural ventilation uses wind or thermal energy to move air from one place to another. In some homes, this comes in the form of a great cross breeze where the wind blows in through one window and out through another on the opposite side of the house. In others, natural ventilation relies more heavily on thermal energy and a concept called stack ventilation.
To understand stack ventilation, it’s important to remember that hot air rises, which means hot air will naturally always want to move upwards to the top levels of your home. Because of this, by opening a window on the lower level and another window on the upper level of your home, you create a system where cooler air comes in from downstairs, pushing hot air up and out the open window on the top floor — simple and effective!
And you can take your in-home air circulation one step further by introducing an energy-efficient fan to the mix as well! While fans don't help cool the air (a common misconception), they do help keep you cool by increasing evaporation (goodbye, sweat!) and super-charging the natural ventilation you've already created by opening your windows.
Of course, with the costs of electricity so high, energy efficiency is critical when choosing the right fan. And for that reason, we love the Vornado 610DC Energy Smart Medium Air Circulator Fan. It's energy-efficient and equipped with multi-directional airflow, variable speed settings, and a 10-year warranty that guarantees you'll have it for many summers to come.
Be aware of using these fans in temperatures over 95°F however, as according to the World Health Organization, in these instances, they may hinder rather than help in preventing heat-related illnesses (like heat stroke), as your body is already evaporating sweat as quickly as it can, and it will only serve to circulate more hot air onto your body.
For our next tip, let's return to your windows momentarily. Sunlight shining through your windows can account for quite a bit of unwanted heat during the summer months. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, roughly 76% of sunlight turns into heat when it falls upon standard double-pane windows! Luckily, window coverings can help with that.
Consider closing the curtains or blinds on any windows that receive direct light during peak sunlight hours (typically mid-day to early afternoon) while you're away at work or out on a weekend getaway. You might be amazed at what a difference it can make!
And our last simple tip to keep cool this summer without air-conditioning is to focus on keeping your body cool instead! Taking a cool shower, wearing light-weight, loose-fitting clothing and ensuring you stay hydrated are all great ways to help keep your body temperature down.
If you're on the move, consider soaking a bandana (or two) in cool water and fastening it to your wrists or neck! When it comes to releasing heat from your body, these two points are some of the best, and by applying something cool to them, you can help speed up the process and amplify the cooling effect.
Choosing to power down your air-conditioner during peak summer months is a big deal — and we think it deserves to be rewarded! Luckily, that's precisely what OhmConnect's energy-saving program is all about. Here's how it works.
As a free member, you'll receive a text message or email alerting you to times of peak electrical demand in your neighborhood, giving you the knowledge to power down devices (like your A/C unit) and save. Just by participating in these energy-saving events, you'll receive points (called Watts) that can be traded in for gift cards, prizes and cash right back into your wallet. And with the tips in this blog post, you can do it all while staying cool at the same time!
Through this system, known as Demand Response, OhmConnect can take the energy you save and sell it back to the grid, sharing those profits directly with you — it's a win-win!
Not a member yet? Sign-up is easy! Click here to get started today.
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