Is it getting hotter?
Global warming, greenhouse effect, whatever you want to call it, it's definitely getting hotter. The fact is our climate is changing; daytime temperatures are definitely heating up, but that doesn't mean that you need to turn up the air conditioner. There are other ways to stay cool, be kind to Mother Earth, and save money on your monthly electricity account.
Ceiling or floor flans
I have often mentioned the benefits of using a ceiling or floor fan to cool down a room and there are ways to increase fan efficiency.
Place the fan in front of an open window where it can pull in cool air to circulate around the room.
Use in conjunction with an air conditioner to cool a large room without turning up the temperature setting.
Invest in a quality fan with high output. A fan with 4 or 5 blades will perform much better than a fan with 3 blades.
Shop around for an energy star-rated fan that will be up to 50% more energy efficient.
Regularly clean the fan blades and fan grill, as built up dust will reduce the overall performance and eventually lead to a burnt out motor.
Keep the curtains drawn
During the eighties I spent a fair amount of time living in Namibia, where hot is really hot. Upon arrival I couldn't understand why everybody closed their curtains during daylight hours - until, that is, the second day.
During the day, curtains are closed to keep the sun out, and in the evening when the temperature drops, all the windows are opening to allow in cool air.
Makes a lot of sense and I think this is a practice we can use here in our homes to keep them cool, especially when you think that as much as 20 percent of summer heat enters your home as sunlight shining through windows.
Did you know that standard incandescent lightbulbs add to the amount of heat in a home. Touch one of these lightbulbs and you'll know how hot they get.
To reduce this hot-light effect and save lighting costs year-round, replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents. They use about 75 percent less energy and emit 90 percent less heat, plus you will be taking a step towards a 'greener' home for you and your family.
Beat the heat
The temperature in a average home roof builds up and can increase your cooling costs by as much as 40 percent. However, install rated ceiling insulation - as specified for your region will reduce both your cooling and heating costs.
Opt for energy efficiency
If you can't take the heat and simply must install an airconditioner - energy efficiency is the buzz word. Choosing an energy efficient ceiling or floor fan may increase the price, but will save you money when you consider the reduced operating cost.
Regularly clean and maintain an airconditioner to ensure that the unit operates with optimum performance.