In both the hottest and coldest months of the year, we often see a spike in our electric bills, but it’s often during the summer that we also consume a lot of water. That said, it is safe to say that for most people, summer is the most challenging time to stay eco-friendly.
However, you don’t have to suffer through the scorching heat or say goodbye to pool parties just to make your summer eco-friendly. Learn some of the best eco-friendly ways to stay cool during the hottest months of the year:
1. Rent an AC
If your HVAC system is already inefficient and you can’t get an appointment with the repair specialist yet, it’s best to stop using it entirely. An inefficient HVAC system will have to work harder to keep your house cool, and in the summer, it will likely be working in overdrive. Consequently, your electric bill will be extremely high until you can get the problem fixed.
In the meantime, find an AC rental service and rent a unit while you’re waiting to address your HVAC efficiency problems. Aside from helping you save money on utilities, renting an AC can also help ensure that your house is receiving optimum cooling levels as opposed to using an HVAC system that’s no longer working properly.
2. Avoid using heat-emitting appliances
Certain appliances, such as your dishwasher, dryer, and oven produce a lot of heat while in usage. Hence, avoiding using them will help keep the temperature in the house from rising and, in turn, keep the utility bills at bay.
Instead of using these heat-emitting appliances, find other ways to do what they do. For example, instead of drying your clothes in the dryer, hang them on a clothesline to dry under the sun (clothes can dry in less than an hour in the summer!). On the other hand, try cooking your food outdoors on a solar cooker, a grill, or perhaps an outdoor pizza oven, to avoid your stove and oven from emitting large amounts of heat in the house.
3. Use fans
Fans will help air circulate and keep the room cool without you having to turn up the air conditioner. Just make sure to clean them first before turning them on to avoid spreading dust all around the room. Moreover, make it a habit to turn them off whenever you’re not in the room since they only help you keep cool, not the entire space.
4. Go to air conditioned public spaces
When you want to escape the scorching heat and get out of the house at the same time, you can hit these two birds with one stone by taking advantage of airconditioned public spaces. Find a nearby mall, library, or cafe to cool down, ideally during the hottest part of the day, and don’t forget to turn off the AC at home before leaving.
Alternatively, you can also visit outdoor public spaces with a lot of shade and breeze, such as the park, a wooded hiking trail, or a public garden. Choose a spot with a lot of trees to hide away from the sun and, at the same time, take advantage of the cool breeze.
Swimming is a great way to stay cool in the summer, and it’s also an excellent form of exercise! If you have a pool at home, make full use of it to cool down while the AC is turned down or turned off inside the house. Just be sure to use sunscreen to avoid getting a much-dreaded sunburn from the heat.
If you don’t have a pool at home, you can visit public pools, indoor swimming facilities, and even school gyms that offer their pools for public use for free or a small fee. Don’t want to swim in a pool? Visit the local beach or lake for a dip and some traditional summer fun.
6. Eat cooling foods and drink plenty of water
When you feel hot inside the house, don’t turn up the AC just yet. Try eating foods that have a cooling effect on the body, such as ice cream, fresh salads, popsicles, and moisture-rich foods. Similarly, make it a habit to drink plenty of water to ensure perspiration and help keep your body’s core temperature down. Aside from plain water, you can also get much-needed hydration from fresh fruit, coconut water, herbal teas, and natural fruit juices.
Staying cool in the summer doesn’t have to mean cranking the AC all the way up or using more water in the shower than necessary. With these tips, you can beat the scorching heat responsibly and sustainably while keeping your carbon footprint low.