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Question of the Week: How do you save energy during a heat wave?

2009 July 27

Keeping cool in hot weather usually takes energy – turning up the air conditioner, driving to a swimming spot, and more.  But using more energy can affect the environment, too. Share how you keep from losing your cool.

How do you save energy during a heat wave?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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77 Responses leave one →
  1. Will Stanley permalink
    November 27, 2009

    Get heavy curtains and keep them drawn during the hot part of the day. Most curtains will have a pale lining on the inner side which will reflect the heat.

  2. Steve Rose permalink
    January 12, 2010

    Buy thermal blackout roller blinds.. keep the heat in

  3. John Patterson permalink
    January 18, 2010

    I try to keep wind flow through the house. Especially if you live in areas where it is windy, utilize the history of wind power by creating turbines for the roof which can assist in the energy consumption needed to keep the A/C running during those hot summer days.

  4. Gary permalink
    February 23, 2010

    Yes, I completely agree with John Patterson

    Hohm is a free web service that helps you understand your home energy use and how to be more energy-efficient.

  5. Sonya permalink
    February 23, 2010

    i have visited this blog several times and have always got unique answers to conserve energy..

    thanks for the post: John and Gary

  6. Furnace Filter Guy permalink
    March 2, 2010

    When operating air conditioning equipment in a heat wave or any other time. Make sure you change your furnace filter regularly. Dirty furnace filters reduce equipment operating efficiency and can cause equipment failure.

  7. Sundresses permalink
    March 3, 2010

    We tend to sleep out of doors in a cabana at night, and wear light clothing (sundresses, light shirts) during the day.

  8. cliff permalink
    June 21, 2010

    I try to keep doors closed.

  9. Paul Kotrappa permalink
    August 8, 2010

    AC technician who came to do routine servicing, closing vents in unused rooms pressurises the system. This is not good for the sytem and reduces the life of the sytem.

    Design assumes that the vents are open.

    As a user I am confused, whether to seal the vents in unused rooms or not?

  10. Ken The Plumber permalink
    August 20, 2010

    As a plumber I always advise people to set our radiators to come on a certain times of the day when people will be at home. It can be a waste of energy and money to have them on all day long

  11. Eric permalink
    August 21, 2010

    Some ideas I got from 25 Green Tips were:

    1. Install a ceiling fan.
    2. Set the setpoint on the thermostat to 76 degrees, so the AC will only kick on when temperatures rise above this.

    During a heat wave, maybe set the thermostat setpoint much higher.

  12. Juliana Morales permalink
    September 12, 2010

    thanks for the tip mate by the way, what is the best sun protection that I can used that can be found at my kitchen?

  13. Adam Maher permalink
    September 17, 2010

    It’s easy to save energy in a heatwave, but it does depend on what you are trying to achieve:
    1) harnessing the heat. To do this, you can buy and install solar cells, or solar heaters, that are able to absorb heat and light photon energy and convert it into something you can use, normally electricity.
    2) warming up your home. This is self explanatory – just keep your windows, doors and curtains open during the day to let heat in, and close them at night to keep the heat from going back out.
    3) You can also use the heat to dry your clothes instead of using a drying machine. Studies show that clothes dried in natural heat last longer and perform better than those that are dryed in a dryer. it also saves you cash when it comes to paying your energy bills.

  14. PhiliHuang permalink
    September 22, 2010

    I think we can use some heatpump products for cooling. Government should provide more bonus on replacement of energy saving products. Such as solar system, Wind turbine, china-heatpump.
    Economical method is the best way to encourage people to pay attention to the energy saving.

  15. Anonymous permalink
    September 24, 2010

    I use most of my ceiling fans around the house rather than using the a/c they cool the house faster and use less electricity.
    I also just got a new cooling fan for my computer which is far better and saves a possible crashdown.

  16. Len permalink
    September 24, 2010

    I use most of my ceiling fans around the house rather ththan using the a/c they cool the house faster and use less electricity.
    I also just got a new cooling fan for my computer which is far better and saves a possible crashdown.

  17. Jerome permalink
    October 20, 2010

    it would be more ideal if you try to fight off the heat with minimal appliance use. try spending your time in a shade or just keep the windows open. if you have a ceiling fan, then use it rather than your a/c, as it uses too much energy. and it would be better if you can save more water. using a cup for getting water when you brush your teeth would cost you less than leaving the tap open.

  18. Jerome permalink
    October 21, 2010

    if you have an electric fan, better use it rather than your air conditioning unit. it consumes too much electricity which is kind of a waste. and if you are imaginative enough, why not go the next door neighbor and have a chat. and if they have a pool, why not have a pool party, courtesy of your neighbor with a clean pool maintained by the best pool cleaner.

  19. Steven permalink
    October 22, 2010

    During the day I’ll cool myself by wrapping my hands on a bottle of cool water and drink lots of it while lounging on the bench of my portico with a nice hat and sunglasses on…chill!

    on the other hand, why not use hand fans instead of ceiling fans?

  20. Himanshu permalink
    November 4, 2010

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  21. Carl permalink
    February 18, 2011

    I hate morobykes and trucks! they should be forbidden! People should use railway!

  22. VNM permalink
    April 2, 2011

    thanks for your info…nice article…this is very helpfull for me… :)

  23. dave permalink
    April 5, 2011

    How about moving towards smaller split air conditioner or ptacs that require less energy? Have a few cool rooms and use fans in the other rooms. Instead of relying solely on technology, just adjust the typical users’ attitude and actions. Do I really need the upstairs bathroom to be 72deg. in summer when no one is going up there anyway?

  24. best ceiling fans permalink
    October 3, 2011

    I love Jerome’s tactic for staying cool without using energy ;)

    Take a walk next door and sip on theirs. Cool; without greenhouse gasses and power bills.

    Well done Jerome.

  25. Anaheim Home Electric permalink
    February 9, 2012

    You can use ceiling fans to circulate the cool air. They can help you feel more comfortable at higher temperatures. It is best to turn the fan off when you leave the room since the fan does its job by cooling you — not the room.

  26. Fly screens permalink
    March 12, 2013

    I appreciated your professional way of writing this post thanks; you have made such a nice blog. I found in your website perfect for my needs it contains wonderful and helpful posts.

  27. Joanna J permalink
    March 17, 2013

    Very good written article. It will be supportive to anyone who utilizes it, as well as me. Keep doing what you are doing – i will definitely read more posts.

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