You have moved into your new home in the serene Hill Country of San Antonio. The summer heat is here, and while you love the smell of hot air on cedars and the sound of cicadas singing to each other in the afternoon it’s a smart idea to conserve as much energy as possible.
Here are some good options for conserving energy in the heat of summer.
Plant Some Additional Shade
While plants do take some time to establish, a little bit of planning goes a long way. A Texas Wild Olive tree in full bloom can block 70% of solar radiation from entering your home. Sun-loving, shade-providing plants, trees and shrubs in front of windows that receive afternoon sun cool your home and add beauty to your life. Native plants to the Texas Hill Country that provide lovely shade include:
- Butterfly Weed
- Indigo Bush
- American Beautyberry
- Desert Willow
- Turks Caps
A dehumidifier helps remove excess moisture from the air which leaves you feeling cooler even in hot temperatures. Warm, moist air passes into the dehumidifier and then crosses refrigerant cooled coils, causing the moisture in the air to condense on coils within the machine. A dehumidifier helps your air conditioner run more efficiently. When the air in your home is more humid, the A/C must do the function of cooling the air and removing moisture, which means it has to work harder.
Try not to use the stove during the hottest part of the summer months. Pre-plan meals so that you don’t need to use the oven when it’s hot outside. The summer months are made for grilling anyway! Try using the grill, or put your crockpot or electric pressure cooker on the back porch for the duration of cooking time. Either way, you are not heating the house with the residual heat of the appliance. If you have to use the oven, try to cook your meal before noon or very late in the day.
Use Ceiling Fans – The Right Way
Did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to use your ceiling fan?
The base of your ceiling has a small switch that changes the direction of the air flow. During the summer months, your ceiling fan should blow forward in a counterclockwise direction, forcing air down and making you feel cooler. During the winter months, your ceiling fan should blow in a clockwise direction circulating the air through the room without blowing directly on you.
Use a ceiling fan switch to keep you cooler in summer.