Staying cool on hot summer days can be challenging, especially if you live in a north-facing apartment that receives a lot of sunlight. Cranking up the air conditioning to maximum is one way to stay cool, but this approach can leave you facing very high energy bills. Here are some sustainable tips to keep your apartment cool in summer.
1. Keep Curtains and Blinds Closed on Sunny Days
Keeping the heat out of your apartment is often more effective than trying to cool your apartment down after it has already become too hot. Close curtains or blinds to cover windows that receive direct sunlight. If your current blinds or curtains are very thin and let a lot of light through, consider installing opaque blinds that can more effectively block out the sun's rays.
2. Use a Timer to Control Your AC
Forgetting to turn off your air conditioning when you go to work can lead to huge energy wastage, as the system works hard all day to keep your empty apartment cool. Use a timer to automatically turn off your air conditioning when you leave in the morning and turn it back on again shortly before your arrival. By using a timer in this way, you can enjoy a comfortable temperature in your apartment without having to manually adjust the AC settings.
3. Maintain Your Air Conditioner
The filters in an AC unit can become clogged with dust, dirt and pet hair, preventing the system from working well. Regularly cleaning out your filters can help the air conditioner work more effectively, which means it can keep your apartment cool without running up huge energy bills.
4. Be Smart About Your Appliance Use
Some household appliances can generate a lot of heat. For example, your oven produces a lot of heat to cook your food, which then escapes into your apartment when you open the oven door. Dryers and dishwashers, which produce heat to dry clothes or dishes, can also leak heat into your apartment, raising the temperature to an uncomfortable level on hot summer days. While you won't want to stop using them, you can wait until the sun goes down and the temperature drops to use these heat-producing appliances.
5. Use a Fan to Circulate Air
When air moves around your home, the environment can feel cooler and more pleasant even when the temperature is high. A fan can create a cooling breeze that offers a similar level of comfort to reducing the temperature in the home by 3 degrees Celsius. Choose an energy-efficient fan to help your family feel more comfortable without running up large energy bills.