Picture used for illustration.
During these peak summer months, all you want to do is stay home with a glass of cool iced tea and place yourself directly in front of a fan or air conditioner. But with these appliances switched on for most of the time, how can you save on bills?
Here’s a refresher on how to keep cool, keep the power on for everyone, and keep that electric bill low.
Turn off what you can
While keeping comfortable and running your AC, be extra careful to turn off things you aren’t using and to delay washing your clothes or running your dishwasher till right before you go to bed, when there is less electricity demand on the system.
Seal the leaks
Remember how you work to make sure drafts don’t get through windows and doors in the winter? Those same cracks can allow cool air to escape if you are using an air conditioner. Installing weather stripping around windows and doors is a year-round fix, but it can’t hurt to break out the same draft catchers you use at the bottom of your door or on a drafty windowsill in winter.
Use the ceiling fan
If you’ve got one, set it to run counter-clockwise so that it stirs the air and pushes cold air back down to you. Moving air around with any kind of fan really does work. The wind chill created actually increases the rate at which heat is displaced from your body.
Be smart about the thermostat
Use a programmable thermostat, so that you can easily set central air conditioning higher when you’re not home, but have it work to lower the temperature before you get back. It’s OK to crank up the air conditioning when you are home, but when you aren’t going to be there, select a set point around 25 degrees Celsius.
Window-unit air conditioners should be turned off when you’re not at home, with one exception: Make sure your pets can stay cool. Leave one window unit on so that pets don’t overheat. This is particularly important if you live on the top floor of a building as top floors can get particularly hot during the day. When you get home turn the room air conditioners on, close the doors and your room should cool off pretty quickly.
Keep the sun out
Heat gain from sunshine pouring through your windows can have a huge impact on indoor temperatures. Pull the blinds down and close curtains during hot summer days when the sun is out to minimise the heat entering your house through the windows. Later in the day and early mornings, you can keep them open and enjoy the light and view.
Check the details
Check and replace, as needed, the filter on your AC. That way, you aren’t making your equipment work harder than it needs to and you will also have a lower energy bill. Other ways to make it easy on an air conditioner that’s working overtime: use the bathroom fan to remove humidity after a shower; don’t add heat by blow-drying your hair; use the stove for cooking, not the oven; and change out any remaining incandescent or halogen light bulbs with LEDs.
Summer is here again, the time when a lot of expatriate families usually pack their bags and fly home to get a little respite. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, most of us may be forced to stay indoors.
Instead of drinking a piña colada, a smoothie bowl with toppings makes for a refreshing yet filling breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Tie dye has made a major comeback this year with people searching how to design it themselves. So, brighten up your summer wardrobe with tie-dye prints.
As Western cities see statues of slaveholders and colonialists toppled, Benin's coastal town of Ouidah is going the other way, restoring monuments to the painful era of the slave trade.
Pickles are wonderful, and they last a long time. They’re the best of both worlds. A wide variety of vegetables and even fruit can be pickled, with excellent results.
These skin care tips will help you take care of any conditions your hands and face develop due to wearing masks or excess use of sanitiser or soap.