What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ten Ways to Save on Air Conditioning

Our previous home was rural, on waterfront property with fairly dense shade cover and good cooling breezes so we only turned the air conditioning on when the humidity levels were high.  This house in in an urban subdivision backing onto a small field.  There is virtually no shade that affects the house other than when the sun hits noon and later the deck on the east side of the house gradually gets shadier.  The attached garage likely helps on the entrance level as it shades from the morning sun as while it is warm it is not a hot as the sun would be.  We have had a couple of weeks of rather hot weather with temperatures reaching a high of 32ºC/90ºF range but with the humidex feeling like 38ºC/100ºF and UV index 8 (very high) and smog alerts.  That means the air conditioning is really working over time.  Here are ten things we are doing to save on our air conditioning costs:

  1. We close the window treatment on any window receiving sun until the sun is completely off the window.
  2. The temptation is to keep the main entrance door open and screen door close but that lets in a lot of heat so we have been keeping the main entrance door closed.
  3. We closed the HVAC registers on the lower level that is partially below grade and always cooler.
  4. We have all lights turned off during the day with the exception of the bathroom as there is no natural light source but only when absolutely needed.
  5. Cooking has been kept to on the outdoor grill, very minimally indoors (eg. toaster) but only if absolutely needed.
  6. We have been making low or no cook meals (eg. BLTs, meal style no cook sandwiches, meal sized no cook salads)  on the extremely hot days.
  7. Any home canning that has to be done (and that's inevitable) has been done on the odd cooler day, earlier in the morning when I could open the patio doors and the hot water from the BWB canner dumped immediately after processing was complete.
  8. We have refrained from using heat producing appliances like the blow dryer, curling iron, clothes iron, dryer, oven and anything else that produces heat on the extremely hot days as well a very minimally during the recent heat wave.
  9. We keep our thermostat set to 24ºC/75ºF which is quite comfortable without the humidity in the house.
  10. We minimize opening any exterior door during the heat of the day (12 PM to 4:00 PM).

Garden Gnome