I can't believe this, but I wrote this to post this morning, and the power in our house went out about fifteen minutes ago . . . guess I really may need to put a few of these into action!
I don't know that I can ever remember seeing the temperature as hot as it's been this last week in Alabama. We visited family in Western Kentucky this weekend, and it was scorching hot there as well! But this morning I asked for a few tips on keeping electricity costs down with this crazy heat over on the PPP Facebook page (I'd love for you to join us there!), and got some fantastic suggestions. Here are a few ideas . . .
- Clean your air conditioning coils. For detailed instructions on this, go HERE, HERE or HERE.
- Change the regular temperature in your home to make it a few degrees warmer. You'll probably survive, and your electric bill will thank you for it!
- Turn off electronics that aren't in use. If you're not using your computer, printers, television, etc., go ahead and unplug them and save that energy! (Also, anything that's plugged in at home uses some small amount of electricity, so if you don't regularly use lamps, your toaster, or other things that require electricity, unplug them.)
- Use ceiling fans to help keep your house cooler.
- Run the dishwasher, washer, and dryer at night so that they don't warm your house during the heat of the day.
- If it cools off in your area at night, open the windows at night to cool the house down, then close before it gets hot again.
- Keep all interior lights off.
- Keep your blinds or curtains closed throughout the house to keep out any additional heat.
- Change your air conditioning filter frequently (as much as twice per month).
- Put aluminum foil or plastic on windows to keep the heat out and the cool in. (I've never heard of this one before and it probably looks a little silly, but if your home struggles to stay cool it might be worth trying!)
- Use your crock pot or grill to cook with instead of cooking in the oven. If you need some suggestions, here you go ~
Grilling or Slow Cooking Recipes to help reduce your electricity costs . . .
- Slow Cooked Creamy Italian Chicken
- Slow Cooked French Dip Sliders
- Perfect Slow Cooked Pot Roast
- Ranch House Slow Cooked Pork Chops
- Rotisserie Style Chicken
- Open Faced Sirloin Sandwich
- Slow Cooked Italian Beef
- Slow Cooked Chicken & Dumplings
- Slow Cooked Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
- Grilled Pantry Pork Chops
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Simple Marinated Garlic Chicken
- Bacon Double Cheese & Onion Stuffed Burgers
- Mushroom Smothered Burgers
SUMMER SURVIVAL KIT SAMPLE
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I bought a counter top convection oven from walmart.com for about $82. It is large enough to cook 2 12 in pizzas, or even 2 13×9 caseroles. This is so compact that it doesn’t heat up the house. My mom was down a week ago and she wanted to make my kids homemade cookies. It was 112 degrees out that day, but we made cookies in the countertop oven and never noticed a temperature difference even by standign next to it and running it for an hour!
It’s a pricey initial outlay, but if you live somewhere that the heat drops quickly in the early evening, a whole house fan could really save. We don’t even use our air conditioning most days, just ceiling fans, keeping the shades drawn, and eating popsicles. But right when things start to get really stuffy and hot inside, is when the temperature is just starting to drop outside, so we open windows, pop on the whole house fan, and in 15 minutes most of the hot air is up in the attic, and it’s comfortable in the rest of the house. On a really hot day, we might run it for longer, but it’s nothing compared to AC.
The other thing we do to reduce temptation to use the AC is plan our outings for the hottest part of the day. Might as well do the shopping while someone else is paying to cool the air.
Jennifer G. says
PS. i hope your power comes back on soon!!!!
It did Jennifer ~ thank goodness! 🙂
Jennifer G. says
We try to line dry as much of our laundry as possible. Ditto on the closed vents. Like in our laundry room, no need to pay for AC in there!
Alexa Wallace says
Please be careful about using aluminum foil or dark paper on double pane windows. While researching film to put on a south facing double patio door, I learned that the wrong thing can cause heat to build up between the panes and cause the seal to break and you will lose the insulating properties of the window itself.
Thank you so much for sharing Alexa! I had not heard of doing that before, but can definitely see how that could happen. That’s definitely something to consider (I know our windows that face west would get way to hot with anything covering them!)
I grew up with a mom who always put aluminum foil on the top sections of the windows that faced the sun!
we recently switched from regular curtains to thermal backed curtains. wow, what a difference! the thermal backing also helps reduce the street noise we get off the busy street we live on. i think i paid about $35/each but well worth the cooler, quieter house! also, close any vents in rooms that don’t get used so the flow can cycle to rooms that do. TVA has free energy audit kits which i think are helpful, too.
I didn’t want to try foil or plastic, so I put some 12×12 black scrapbooking paper on our upstairs windows (I only did the back of the house; people can’t see it AND we get a lot of our direct sunlight from that direction). It keeps the upstairs cooler, and the girls sleep longer since it’s darker!
We’ve also been using the crock pot a lot 🙂