Fall is by far my favorite season. After growing up in a place where the climate was basically the same throughout the year, I still relish in the changing of the leaves and the cooler temperatures that offer relief after the scorching summer.
But those aren’t the only reasons I enjoy fall: The new season also makes it easier for us to be a bit more energy efficient. Here are the ways we change our routine in the fall to help us cut energy costs:
We Ditch the A/C
According to Phoenix AC Repair, this may seem like an obvious change, but a lot of people who use their A/C and/or heating systems all year long, mostly because they’re so used to using them that they never think to stop. But as soon as it’s cool enough outside, we like to turn off the central air. The house is usually temperate even with the system off, but we’ll often open opposite windows just to keep fresh air circulating. And if we start to get a little too warm, we’ll use ceiling or box fans.
But there’s another option as well: We’re in a two-story home, and the first floor tends to stay cooler than the second. Luckily, we do have a zoned system, so we can cool upstairs if it gets too hot, without being forced to cool the entire house. Still, we usually don’t have to do that, because the master bedroom, which is not as well insulated as the rest of the second floor due to some attached attic/crawlspaces, has a ceiling fan. Turning it on is usually enough to cool the room.
You chould choose from various ducted air conditioning products to help make your whole home more energy efficient, but these tips will help you in the meantime.
We Use the Oven Less Often
I fully admit that I’m a lazy chef, and my favorite way to cook is to just throw something in the oven and wait. But using the oven tends to make the whole kitchen hot, which in turn often makes the adjacent living room hot. This puts a kink in our plan to leave the A/C off.
Instead, we cook more often on the stove top, and this year, I’m planning to do a lot more crock pot recipes. This will help keep the house cooler, and both the stove top and the crock pot require less energy to run than the oven. This may seem like a small change, but if you get in the habit of doing it, it can really make a difference in your energy usage.
Once the colder temperatures of late fall and winter hit though, using the oven actually helps us keep the house warmer without having to push the thermostat too high.
Use Thermal Curtains
Another way we keep the house cool when summer begins to turn to fall is to use thermal curtains. Because of the way our house is situated on the lot, the front of the house gets full sun in the morning and the back of the house gets it in the afternoon. This means that in the morning when I’m working in my office at the front of the house, it can get really hot with the sun beating on the windows right in front of my desk. And it can be tempting to turn on the air to cool down. Thermal curtains solved that problem and they keep the room a LOT cooler. If you ever need evidence, just put your hnd between your window glass and the thermal curtain. You’ll notice a dramatic difference between the temperature there and the temperature just on the other side of your curtain.
We need these curtains on the window in both the front and back of the house because of the sun changes, but really, they’re beneficial on all windows to help with heat and cooling loss from your home out through the windows. Still, if you’re not quite ready to switch the window treatments on every window just yet, forcus on the windows that take the brunt of the sun during the day, or the ones that have a noticeable draft.
So what about you? How do you save energy as the weather starts to turn cooler?