While the kids are home this summer, take the opportunity to teach them a little about saving energy and money. Coming up with ways to reduce energy consumption and be more energy efficient in the home is one easy way to reduce a household’s budget, and it can be a nice learning experience too.
First, educate your kids on the basics: by saving energy at home and reducing your home’s energy consumption, you can also help save the planet, preserve our national resources, reduce pollution, reduce our national debt, and create healthier living environments for everyone.
By helping your home be more energy-efficient, you can help your family save for more important things, like going on vacation, saving for college expenses, and buying the latest appliances and electronics. Yes, you can achieve all of that simply by being more energy-efficient.
Next, teach them a few new tips each week and help them implement these ideas into their daily routine in small chunks. No one – kid or parent – would handle such wholesale changes in one fell swoop. Here’s a list of 35 tips on how kids can help be more energy efficient this summer to help you get started:
- Move/place the air conditioner (A/C) unit on north-facing walls in a shady spot.
- Keep the thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or 26 degrees Celsius.
- Use ceiling fans and fans to help circulate cool air.
- Install exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Take lukewarm showers to avoid heat-holding humid air.
- Make sure your A/C and dehumidifiers are the right size for the job.
- Close shades, drapes, and blinds on days to help keep hot air out.
- Use microwaves and countertop appliances instead of stoves and ovens.
- Fire up the grill on hotter days.
- Turn the water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put in fluorescent light bulbs (they use less electricity and create much less heat).
- Wash your dishes and laundry in the evenings; use cold water for clothes and hang up clothes outside for drying.
- Wear thin, light-colored material to keep your body cooler.
- Turn your pool filter off when not in use (especially overnight).
- Put in a programmable thermostat.
- Seal off leaky ducts and cracks all around the house.
- Insulate attics, garages, and cellars.
- Seal off/don’t cool parts of the house not in use.
- Replace air filters.
- Routinely turn off all appliances and lights not being used. Even programmable coffeemakers and toasters can waste energy.
- Make sure all fans spin clockwise for a wind-chilling effect.
- Plant shade trees around the house.
- Open windows on cool evenings and turn off the A/C.
- Install window covers to help keep heat out.
- Don’t try to speed up cooling the house by setting A/C exceptionally low; this only wastes energy.
- Make sure venting fans push hot air outside and not just to the attic.
- Don’t place heat-creating appliances near thermostats.
- Remove dust build-up from vacuum registers; make sure nothing is blocking airflow to the registers.
- Use daylight instead of artificial light when possible.
- Do only full loads for clothes and dishes; partial loads only waste energy and water.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Put heat-generating appliances (i.e., freezers) outside or in the garage to eliminate the heat they create.
- Avoid baking, cooking, making coffee, and other heat-generating activities on hot days; consider, instead, serving cold foods and drinks.
- Avoid repeatedly and unnecessarily opening refrigerators and freezers.
- Exercise outdoors when possible and avoid having too many people in one room; human beings create lots of heat.
- With these 35 tips, you and your kids can easily get started on an energy-efficient summer.