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10 Surprising ways to save energy and build community during a heat wave

This week it will be above 85 degrees on the SouthCoast, so we thought we’d share the top 10 Energy Challenge tips to save energy and inspire the community during a heat wave.

  1. Make sure your electrical outlets are insulated. Then think of your A/C as one big outlet and make sure it is well-fitted in its window or wall.
  2. Eat veggies (check out to find a farmers market near you.) Did you know the protein in meat or nuts can cause metabolic heat, and warm the body? The “Meat Sweats” are a real thing.
  3. Keep the cracks between rooms filled. Make a draft snake! (It doesn’t have to be as fancy as the one in the picture.) Draft snakes are easy to make with a towel. While you are at it, close off unused rooms.
  4. Get a no-cost home energy assessment from MassSave. An Energy Assessment will give you a baseline so you know where you have the most opportunity to save money and stay cool this summer. You may also want to consider installing a home energy management system, this will save you energy overall on your housing bills and not just in the summer, for future purposes as well.
  5. Ditch the incandescents! LED bulbs will last longer and are far more energy efficient. Incandescent bulbs give off nearly 70% of their energy in heat. It isn’t just that you feel cooler in a dark room, historically, dark rooms were actually cooler!
  6. Use public spaces more. You can turn off your A/C completely when you leave the house. Visiting a public library or free museum is a great way to take advantage of a hot day. That being said, if you are going to be spending a significant amount of time away from your home, then investing in a robust home security system is strongly recommended. Burglaries and break-ins are far more common in the summer when people are more likely to be out of their homes for long periods of time, and therefore it is important to take steps to secure your property and belongings to deter potential criminals. Correspondingly, if you would like to be able to monitor your home from a distance, installing a wireless alarm system and a few security cameras that can be accessed via your smartphone is all it might take to give you the peace of mind that your property is safe. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
  7. Take a cold shower. Even that warm shower in the morning is using energy to heat the water. By switching to one 5-minute cold shower a day, you’ll be saving both water and energy.
  8. Break out your storm windows. You may assume that storm windows are just for the winter to keep heat in, but they also work well in the summer and act as an insulator to your home. If your current windows that you have installed are old and you don’t think they would be able to withstand a storm or any other harsh weather conditions, it may be time for a change. The installation of windows that will be able to protect you from a storm and keep heat out during a heatwave is worth looking into. Doing some research into something like Redditch Doors and Windows, you’ll be able to find the answer to your problem. It is always best to do your research before going a head with anything, especially when it comes to renovating any part of your home.
  9. Take advantage of the many uses of fans. Fans work by blowing air over your skin, making you feel cool, although the air is not any cooler. They can also help to move warm air. Box fans are especially useful because by putting them in your window so the air is blowing out, you can remove the hot stagnant air. This will essentially use the Stack Effect in your favor. If you are going to be using the stack effect to draw cool air from lower levels of the house, especially the basement, please make sure your radon detectors are working.
  10. Check on your neighbors. Hot days are some of the most dangerous to people who are left alone. Older people, babies, and pregnant women’s bodies are less efficient at regulating body temperature. Invite your neighbors over to enjoy your energy saving actions and cool house.

For more information on how to stay cool without air conditioning check out this great article on How Homes Kept Cool Before Air Conditioners.

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