Stay Cool and Save Money This Summer

Here at Boxsmart, we just can’t say it enough:
Recycle – Reduce – Reuse
The year 2012 is proving to be a critical year as environmental concerns increase. Not only is this year sounding more alarms than previous years with more news stories of ocean acidification, air and water pollution, toxic spills and erratic weather patterns – but most of the world’s economies are also suffering.  The need to educate ourselves and those around us on ways to be greener AND ways to save money has never been more crucial. In that effort, we here at Boxsmart are constantly researching ways to be more energy efficient both at home and at the office. We’d like to share all the tips we’ve learned, and hope you’ll also share them with your friends & family.
This week, we’d like to share some tips on how to keep your home cool this summer without breaking the bank.
1. Using white or light colored window-shades/blinds/drapes will reflect more of the sun’s heat.
2. Make sure weather-stripping around your windows and doors are in good condition.
3. During the summer, close curtains on the south and west facing windows during the day.
4. It only costs about $0.30/month to run your ceiling fans for 8 hours a day.  Even a small window A/C unit costs 50 times more than that!  If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.  So keep those fans on – because moving air feels cooler and evaporates sweat faster.
5. Turn off those ceiling fans when you leave the room; as fans cool people by creating a wind-chill effect but don’t actually cool rooms.
6. Replacing windows is expensive, but if you’re capable of making the investment, energy-efficient windows will save you loads of money in the long-run. Not only do energy-efficient windows reduce UV damage to carpeting and furniture, but single-pane windows can save you about $400/year, while double-pane windows save around $100/year.
7. If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed when not in use.
8. Keep the humidity of your home at an optimum level.  Those who live in dry climates will want to use a humidifier, while those in humid climates will need a dehumidifier. With the proper humidity level, you’ll be able to adjust your thermostat to save energy while still feeling comfortable. Both work best when air can circulate freely through them, so be sure to place these devices away from walls and bulky furniture.