Ok, you can turn it up a little! But really, when we crank up the A/C system, it not only means big utility bills, it also means extra energy expenditure, which isn’t great for the environment. With some planning, you can handle Raleigh’s summer heat without creating a utility bill that’ll give you a heart attack.
Here are some ideas for staying cool in Raleigh this summer without relying on round-the-clock air conditioning at home:
Strategic A/C system use
If your air conditioning is on and you’re about to leave your house for more than a half hour, turn it off! Switching it on and off every time you step outside won’t help (it takes some energy to get it going again), but turning it off when you’ll be out for a significant amount of time will help you save money and energy.
Programmable thermostats are also a good way to use your home’s A/C system efficiently. If you know that everyone in your family is out during the day on weekdays, install a programmable thermostat and set your air conditioning to turn off when your family leaves in the morning and turn back on when you get home.
Easy peasy, nice and breezy
Take advantage of Raleigh’s natural climate on cooler, breezy days. Turn off the air conditioning, open the windows and let the breezes in! It’s important to remember to open windows on more than one side of your house to take advantage of cross breezes.
Ceiling and standing fans can also be a good way to cool down. If you know you’re only going to be at home for brief intervals on a given day, forgo A/C in favor of turning the fans on when you’re around.
Though Raleigh’s summer heat can be unbearable during the day, it does cool off a little at night. Set your programmable thermostat to turn the A/C off during later evening hours and sleep with the windows open instead.
The lack of nighttime air conditioning will be a lot more comfortable if you’re not sleeping under all those blankets – in summertime, make a switch from the heavy blankets you usually use in favor of lighter versions that are more appropriate for the season. A fun trick: Turn your pillow case into a cooling agent by sticking it in the fridge or freezer for a half hour before going to bed.
Water, water everywhere
Skip the A/C during even the hottest parts of the day by taking the family outside to cool down while washing the car in driveway, playing in the sprinkler, or hanging out at the neighborhood pool. The Raleigh area is also fortunate to have plenty of rivers and lakes nearby. Find the one closest to you here.