Summertime brings the children home from school, and it also brings warm temperatures, which means that your utility bills will go up. There are ways that you can maintain your cool and keep the kids busy while managing your utility costs.
Get Out of the House
There are so many public places that keep their establishment comfortable during the day, allowing you to take advantage of them. Make a trip to the library, go to a museum, or enjoy a matinee. Go to the pool, or to a local park that has a lot of shade trees. Run errands in the morning before the sun heats up. If you aren’t home, you don’t have to keep everyone cool.
Don’t forget the sunscreen when you do go outside, and make sure everyone stays hydrated. However, you should limit caffeine and alcohol. Wear a wide-brimmed hat when you go out in the sun to protect your face and neck and to help stay cool. If you run outside or exercise, go early in the morning or when it’s cooler in the evening so that you don’t overheat.
When You’re at Home
It might be challenging to keep the house cool. Keep the curtains closed to prevent the sun from heating the inside of your home. Angle your Venetian blinds upward to keep the direct rays from streaming into the room. Don’t use the oven. In fact, you can plan meals that are lighter and cooler, such as salads, sandwiches, and cold soups. Stay hydrated with plenty of water. If you’re tired of plain water, infuse it with lemon juice or herbs for added flavor.
Use energy-efficient lightbulbs that don’t add heat. Check into the heating and cooling installation of a new HVAC unit that cools better than your older system. Run your dryer at night so that you don’t add heat during the day when the sun is already doing its best. Play outside with the hose and other water toys, but limit your time in the sun when it’s at its peak. Keep small paper fans handy for quiet activities in the living room.
Use fans to keep the air circulating throughout the home, especially at night. Open the doors of the bedrooms to let the air move freely. Take a cool shower in the evening and don’t towel off. The evaporation will let you feel cooler. Wear loose clothing at night, and use silk or cotton sheets to absorb sweat and stay cool. Synthetic fabrics do not have natural moisture-wicking abilities. Try to stay calm before bed because activity can heat your body up. Before bed, eat a popsicle or have some frozen fruit to cool your body down from the inside.
Keep frozen bottles of water around not just for drinking but also for cooling off. Wrap one in a towel and place it behind your neck. Go ice skating. Get out of the city and go camping. The pavement absorbs heat, so it’s typically cooler in the woods or mountains. Set your thermostat to 78° F when you’re at home, and turn it up a little when you leave. You’ll notice a difference in your heating bills, but it won’t affect your lifestyle. According to the AC Man of Houston (www.acmanhouston.com), stay on top of your HVAC maintenance and replace air filters regularly to get the best performance out of your system. Look for ways to keep cool this summer with your family, so that you can enjoy lower utility bills and build your relationship with your kids.