According to The Weather Company, all of the lower 48 states are expected to experience hotter than average temperatures this summer. Imagine! We all remember how hot last summer was and how miserable it got.
In fact, June 2019 was the hottest June on record, and July was the hottest month in recorded human history. It all basically boils down to this – it’s going to be painfully hot this summer and all of us will be looking for some sweet, cool relief. Instead of cranking the AC and adding even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, cool off with these thrifty and eco-friendly tips instead!
1. Upgrade Your Bedding
Whether you’re a sweater or you just overheat at night, sleeping in the summer can be a nightmare. The solution is as simple as replacing your stuffy cotton sheets. Cotton sheets are tightly woven causing them to trap moisture which is why you wake up in an Olympic swimming pool of sweat every morning.
Instead, try using an alternative fabric like Sheets & Giggles Eucalyptus Lyocell sheets. S&G’s Eucalyptus sheets are cooler, softer, and wick sweat much more effectively than cotton. You’ll sleep more comfortably and wake up feeling totally refreshed. As an added bonus, S&G’s Eucalyptus sheets are sustainably-made and environmentally friendly so you’ll be doing your part in trying to avoid contributing to an even hotter 2021.
2. Cool Off Your Mattress
While you’re re-evaluating your bedding, consider sleeping on a different mattress. Memory foam mattresses are notorious for absorbing and retaining all of your body heat while you sleep. To remedy this, buy a non-foam topper or swap out your memory foam mattress for one that breathes a little better, like a traditional box spring or a hybrid model.
You’ll get to stay cool all year long!
3. Try Evaporative Coolers
Believe it or not, air conditioners ultimately make Earth warmer! They run on fossil fuels and the steady carbon emissions radiating from them have contributed to slightly larger than one-degree Celsius at global temperature. While it seems small, this is massive on an Earth-wide scale!
If you live in a low humidity area, you should consider replacing your AC with an evaporative cooler, alluringly dubbed a “swamp cooler.” This natural and energy-efficient means of keeping your home cool works by lowering the temperature of the outdoor air by passing it over water-saturated pads. As the water evaporates, the cold air is pushed into the home, while the warm air is pushed out of the windows.
Compared to a traditional AC unit, evaporative coolers are cheaper to install, cheaper to run, and require no toxic chemicals like hydrofluorocarbons or ammonia. While they don’t cool the home as dramatically as an AC, the environmental and cost-saving benefits are paramount.
4. Install a Whole House Fan
If not an evaporative cooler, a whole house fan is another popular energy-efficient cooling option! These types of fans pull air in from open windows and exhaust it through the attic and roof. Typically, you use whole-house fans when the temperature outside is cooler than the temperature inside (i.e., in the morning or at night). The fan can cool your house in an hour for a fraction of the cost and energy as a central AC. It’s a win for you and a win for the planet!
5. Air Seal Your Home
Air sealing, or eliminating all the holes in your house, is a cost-effective way to cut AC costs and reduce your energy consumption (air sealing is important for the winter months, too, but we’re focusing on the summer for now!). Try caulking and weather-stripping your windows and doors so that when you do run the AC it’s cooling your house faster and more efficiently.
And don’t forget about the insulation. Properly insulating your walls, floors, and attic can further increase your home’s overall energy efficiency.
6. Hire an Energy Advisor
You might also consider hiring an energy advisor. An energy advisor is someone who comes into your home with high-tech equipment like an infrared sensor and a blower door to assess your home and gives you advice on how to make it more energy-efficient and comfortable.
We know this summer is going to be hot because the sun is a big ol’ ball of hydrogen that burns at 10,000°F. Also, man-made climate change is warming the planet at an unprecedented pace. This is the new normal, folks. So we need to start coming up with solutions that don’t make the problem worse, like cranking the AC 24 hours a day or sleeping with the freezer doors open at night.
Scientists are still years away from developing more efficient central air conditioning technology (i.e. ACs that don’t use greenhouse gas-emitting hydrofluorocarbons), so in the meantime, we can use these greener solutions to keep cool this summer.
What are your favorite eco-friendly ways to keep cool? Let us know!
Brightly partnered with Sheets and Giggles to create this informative, sustainable living packed post.