We may be in the middle of a heat wave, but that doesn't mean you can't stay green in the process.
Chris Poulsen, director of health and human services for the township, offers 10 tips for staying green while doing what is necessary to beat the heat:
- Drink Plenty of Water—Cold drinks lower your body’s core temperature and cool you down in a quick fashion.
- Turn off Unnecessary Heat Producing Devices—Light bulbs can be a big heat generator. Shut down electronic equipment like computers, monitors, televisions, video games and home entertainment systems when not in use.
- Launder Clothes When the Day is Cool—Washers and dryers release heat when in use. Do laundry early in the day and late at night when the heat index is lower. Don’t overlook the old fashioned clothesline! Drying clothes with the power of the sun does not generate heat in your house.
- Skip your Dishwasher’s Dry Cycle—Rack your dishes and let them air dry. This action will also conserve energy.
- Maintain your Air Conditioner—Clean filters in window units at least once a month. Place a shade over your window AC. An air conditioner that operates in full sun works a lot harder than it should. Make sure the AC air flow is not obstructed. Run the AC fan on low. Make sure the accordion seal around the window is tight. Maintain a central air conditioning unit on an annual basis and check the coolant level.
- Check your Refrigerator Settings—A refrigerator takes heat out of your food and exhausts the heat to your kitchen. The optimum refrigerator setting is between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a Dehumidifier—ENERGY STAR reports that a 40 pint dehumidifier will save up to $20 dollars a year. If you control your home's humidity it will allow you to feel cooler and also reduce musty smells and the potential growth of mold.
- Check your Weather Stripping—Secure weather stripping will act to keep cool air in your home in the summer and warm air inside in the winter. Also check the caulk around window frames and seal cracks and crevices to keep cool air in.
- Draw your Drapes and Blinds—Keeping your shades and curtains closed helps to keep heat from getting into your home.
- Set your Thermostat to 78—Turning a thermostat down to cool a room quicker doesn’t work. It only makes the air conditioner run longer, not cooler.
And as one more bonus tip:
- Grill Outdoors—Cooking is an obvious heat source. Cooking outdoors with an approved grill will not cause additional heat in your home!