Summer weather is here and it’s time to think about ways to cool your home while conserving energy!

Extreme weather events, such as heat waves and winter storms, can drastically effect people’s comfort at home, and cause their energy costs to skyrocket.

Mark Newey, building scientist at the Center for EcoTechnology, says that people in the region can take action now to keep cool and save money. But, says Newey, people should also now be considering making simple home improvements that will keep them comfortable – and reduce their energy costs – year-round.

To keep cool and reduce your energy costs:

  • Now’s the time to explore air sealing and insulating your attic. The biggest difference you can make to your comfort and energy expenses is to keep the hot air from pouring out of your attic into your house. An insulation professional can seal the access points into your attic (an often forgotten space) and insulate the attic itself. This work will also pay dividends in the winter, keeping warm air from escaping into the attic. CET helps homeowners get started by scheduling home energy assessments, which may help homeowners become eligible for assistance through MassSave’s energy efficiency program.
  • Shade your windows from the outside. It’s most effective to keep the sun’s heat out of your house by installing awnings outside your windows.  You might also consider planting tall shrubs outside your windows, or installing a trellis and growing climbing plants up this.
  • Shade your windows from the inside, using light-colored curtains or blinds.
  • Humidity makes the heat feel worse. Run your bathroom exhaust fan when you use the shower, and consider running a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air in your home.
  • If you’re using air conditioning to cool your home, consider using window units to cool specific spaces, and closing off those rooms that you don’t need to cool. By reducing the space you want to cool, you’ll be more comfortable and you’ll save money.
  • Use ceiling and portable fans to blow air on you and your family members. Remember, fans don’t cool a room; they cool you. So turn them off when you’re not in the same room.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, cool your house at night by opening windows and using fans to cool off. Close windows early in the morning and keep them closed all day.
  • Electrical appliances generate heat. Keep your lights, computer, and television turned off and try to cook outside.