Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly This Summer

Making your home more eco-friendly in the summer can help reduce energy consumption, lower utility bills, and minimize your environmental impact.

Here are some strategies to go more eco-friendly this summer.

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1. Optimize Cooling Efficiency

  • Use Fans: Ceiling fans, box fans, and portable fans can circulate air and reduce the need for air conditioning. Set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise to push cool air downward.
  • Smart Thermostats: Install a programmable thermostat to control your cooling system more efficiently. Set it to higher temperatures when you’re not home or at night.
  • Seal leaks: Ensure windows and doors are properly sealed to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from entering. Use weather stripping and caulking to seal gaps and cracks.
  • Blinds and blackout curtains: block out the sunlight when you can, to minimize how much it heats your home.
  • Insulate pipes: Insulate pipes to optimize how well your home maintains its temperature.

2. Enhance Natural Ventilation

  • Open windows strategically: Open windows and use window fans during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning and late evening, to let in fresh air. Use cross-ventilation by opening windows on opposite sides of the house.
  • Use window coverings: Close blinds, shades, or curtains during the hottest part of the day to block out direct sunlight and reduce indoor temperatures.

3. Energy-Efficient Appliances and Lighting

  • LED Bulbs: Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. LEDs use less energy, produce less heat, and last longer.
  • Energy Star Appliances: Upgrade to Energy Star-rated appliances, which use less energy and water compared to standard models.
  • Unplug Devices: Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use to prevent “phantom” energy consumption.
  • Refrain from using appliances that generate heat during the warmest times of day, such as the oven or dishwasher.

4. Solar Power and Renewable Energy

  • Solar panels: Install solar panels to generate your own renewable energy. Many local governments offer incentives and rebates for solar installations.
  • Solar water heaters: Consider installing a solar water heater to reduce the energy used for heating water.

5. Water Conservation

  • Low-flow fixtures: Install low-flow showerheads and faucets to reduce water usage without sacrificing performance.
  • Water-saving appliances: Use water-saving appliances such as high-efficiency washing machines and dishwashers.
  • Rainwater Harvesting: Use rainwater barrels to collect water to use for your garden and lawn.
  • Sprinkler system schedules: Run your sprinkler system at night or in the early morning hours, so that the soil and plants can absorb the water before it evaporates in the hot summer sun. Have a rain sensor or phone app to turn off the sprinklers during rainy weather.

6. Sustainable Landscaping

  • Native Plants: Plant native species that are adapted to your local climate and require less water and maintenance.
  • Drought-Resistant Landscaping: Design your garden with drought-resistant plants and xeriscaping techniques to minimize water use.
  • Mulching: Use mulch around plants to retain moisture, reduce the need for watering, and suppress weeds.

7. Green Building Materials and Insulation

  • Insulation: Properly insulate your home to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Insulation reduces the need for heating and cooling, saving energy.
  • Reflective Roofing: Consider installing a reflective or “cool” roof that reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat, reducing the need for air conditioning.
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: Use eco-friendly building materials such as bamboo, reclaimed wood, and recycled materials for renovations and home improvements.

8. Sustainable Household Practices

  • Composting: Start a compost bin for kitchen scraps and yard waste to create nutrient-rich soil for your garden and reduce landfill waste.
  • Recycling: Maintain a robust recycling program in your home, ensuring all recyclable materials are properly sorted and disposed of.
  • Reduce Single-Use Plastics: Minimize the use of single-use plastics by opting for reusable containers, bags, and bottles.

9. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

  • Natural Cleaners: Use natural and non-toxic cleaning products to reduce indoor air pollution and environmental impact. Common ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can be effective cleaners.
  • Concentrated Products: Choose concentrated cleaning products to reduce packaging waste and transportation energy.

10. Mindful Energy Use

  • Schedule Heavy-Duty Tasks: Perform energy-intensive tasks like laundry and dishwashing during off-peak hours to reduce the strain on the grid and take advantage of lower energy rates.
  • Cook Outdoors: Use a grill or an outdoor kitchen to cook meals, which keeps the heat out of your home and reduces the need for air conditioning.
  • Dry Your Laundry Outdoors: You can save electricity by drying your clothes outdoor in the sun. The sun also helps to freshen and brighten laundry!

By implementing these strategies, you can make your home more eco-friendly this summer, helping to conserve resources, save money, and protect the environment.

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9 Comments

  1. Tara Pittman says:

    I need to try the landscaping one. I like that the plants use less water.

  2. These are all wonderful ideas. I always try to do the best I can when it comes to being more eco-friendly.

  3. I bought me and my son a cooling blanket. Not sure if they help a ton but I figured it was worth a shot. Anything to try to help keep my bill down this summer.

  4. Our city has started offering composting so we’re doing more of that. We have a lot of smart appliances. I would love to get solar, but that’s costly.

  5. Melissa Cushing says:

    These are all great eco friendly tips that I appreciate and we do many of these already. My husband is a stickler for saving energy and has used LED bulbs for years and changes them also whenever we go to his parents house. One thing I did not think of was plants that require less water….I do have houseplants like that as they are simple to care for but when it comes to the outdoors….. I have a rain barrel that we use to water the plants. Great tips here and appreciate you sharing 😉

  6. Melanie E says:

    All the lights in our home are now LEDS and have been for years. We also made sure our side lights by the side of the beds have energy efficient bulbs. Recycling has been in play for years so we’re quite efficient there too. These are all great tips. I hope to compost once we move.

  7. I love the idea of using fans to reduce AC usage and opening windows strategically for natural ventilation. Switching to LED bulbs and Energy Star appliances is on my to-do list now. And I never thought about scheduling heavy-duty tasks for off-peak hours – such a smart way to save energy! Can’t wait to start implementing these ideas and making our home greener this summer!

  8. These are great tips, I believe in all ecofriendly ways that are cost effective that save money as well, I will be tring some of these tips.

  9. It would be nice to have solar panels. They’re quite expensive, though. But we are already doing most of these.

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