Summer is here and you know what that means — BBQ cookouts, baseball games, vacays, road trips, fireworks…just to name a few favorite things.
However, summertime isn’t all pool parties and sno-cones. Summer is also one of the busiest seasons for household energy use.
Use these five tips to help you cool down your energy use this summer!
Grill outside: Grilling outside is one of the easiest — and most fun — ways to save energy in the summer. If it’s a nice night, forget the stove, oven or microwave and treat yourself to a meal prepared outside. We won’t step into the debate about whether grilled food tastes better with propane, charcoal or electric (that debate is more intense than OU vs. OSU). We’ll just say that if you’re new to grilling or feeling a little rusty, you should give the kitchen the night off and grill dinner outside instead!
Prep meals outdoors: Grilling gets a lot of attention, but there are lots of creative meals you can make outside. Like a nice vegetable or fruit salad. Or hummus and guacamole. Or … shrimp tapas with mango shooters? Welp, it turns out that if you think outside the box — and outside the kitchen — you have lots of delicious and nutritious options for making your meal outdoors. Here’s a fun list by EatWell101 to get you started!
Be SMART about your thermostat…literally
Your HVAC is typically a home’s biggest energy user, especially during the summertime. So instead of adjusting temps throughout the day, set a temp and stick with it (Department of Energy recommends about 78 degrees). Want to know the smartest thing you can do? Switch to a programmable Wi-Fi thermostat to control your temperature settings from your phone or connected device, and develop a cooling schedule so you don’t run your A/C when no one’s home.
Become a fan of fans
Fans are a fan-tastic way to save energy in the summertime. Purchase an energy- efficient upright or box fan, and set your overhead fans to run counterclockwise, which creates a cooling, downward draft. Remember, fans cool people, not rooms, so only run yours if someone is in the room. Also, don’t keep your A/C running on low all the time while you’re running your fans. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy any energy savings.
Close your blinds
When you leave the blinds open, the sunlight heats your home, making you hotter and more uncomfortable — and more likely to turn the A/C down. So, solve the problem and close the blinds. With less sunlight coming in, you may need more overhead lighting, however that uses much less electricity than your A/C, especially when you use energy-efficient LED lights, which use 90% less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs.
Follow these five tips to have a blast this summer, without sweating your energy use.