Stay Cool & Save Energy
Tips for energy-efficient summer living
Cool Your House
Move activities outdoors
- Transform your patio into an outdoor living room by putting up an awning and fan.
- Grill outside instead of turning on the stove.
Keep the heat out
- Close blinds and windows during the day, especially those on the sunny sides.
- Install awnings on windows, starting with the sunniest.
- Plant deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves in the fall) to shade the south and west sides of your house.
- Insulate your home's walls and attic to keep your home cooler in summer (as well as warmer in winter).
- If you have a window air conditioner, locate it in a shaded window, or on the north or eastern side if you can.
- Add vents and an attic fan to expel hot air that collects.
- At night, turn on an attic or whole house fan to draw up hot air and vent it outside. Use box fans in open windows to bring cooler nighttime air inside.
- Open windows on opposite sides of the house and turn on fans and ceiling fans to maximize cross breezes. Try running one fan in reverse (or facing backward) to suck hot air out of the house, opposite another fan running normally.
- Drink lots of water so your body's natural cooling system, sweat, can work properly. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks.
- Wear a water-soaked hand towel around your neck (keep a couple in the refrigerator).
- Take a cool shower before bedtime.
- Spritz your skin with water mixed with a few drops of rubbing alcohol; alcohol evaporates faster than water, increasing the cooling sensation.
- Place a bowl of ice in front of a fan and let it blow on you, or put a cold wet towel over the fan.
- Lose weight (fat is an insulator).
- Sleep in the coolest room in the house.
- Take regular breaks from physical activity and stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
- Avoid going in and out of air conditioning.
Cool Your Pets
Furry pets are unable to cool off as efficiently as we do, so consider their well-being in your summer planning as well.
- Exercise dogs in the cooler morning or evening hours. Shorten walks and game time during heat spells.
- Make sure pets have the option of cool place to rest (shady all day, if outdoors) and plenty of fresh water.
- Put a kid-sized wading pool in the shade for your dog.