July 2023 was the hottest month on record globally and broke several records. From July 3-6, 2023, the daily global mean surface air temperature was broken, and the 29 days from 3-31 of July were the hottest 29 days on record since the beginning of recorded temperatures in 1940.
Scientists are forecasting “an extended period of exceptional warmth” for our planet. The odds are we could continue to break records in the upcoming months and years. Thanks to heat-trapping emissions, heat advisories are popping up worldwide, and heat waves are all over the news.
Since April, the global average daily sea surface temperature has remained at record values for the time of year.
And to make things worse, according to a new update issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), there is a 98% chance that one of the next five years will break the 2023 record. And a good chance that all five years will be warmer than ever before.
WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas says, “The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is more urgent than ever before. Climate action is not a luxury but a must.”
This is not the end of the world, but families need to find affordable ways to stay cool without breaking the budget. Here are five inexpensive tips to keep your cooling bills in check.
Use Window Coverings
A home filled with natural light compliments of windows is always beautiful, but that often means keeping them uncovered. Not only does this allow the sun's rays to come through into your home, but it also causes its temperature to increase, especially if you have older windows.
Instead of allowing the sun to shine through, opt for window coverings, including blinds and blackout draperies, that offer protection and keep the house cooler. Additionally, using them in the winter months can keep the cold air from entering your home.
Ceiling Fans: Install and Use Them
Ceiling fans are not only aesthetically pleasing to look at, but they also provide some significant airflow to keep you cool. Most ceiling fans have two directions: one for summer and another for winter. By circulating air in the proper direction, it will seem naturally cooler. When using ceiling fans during the hottest months of the year, they can work in conjunction with your central air conditioning and help save money on electricity costs.
If you don't have any ceiling fans and want to install them, make sure the ones to select are the proper size for each room, as this will help with appropriate air circulation.
The kitchen is one of the hottest rooms in the house, especially if you're constantly cooking, baking, or grilling. Add in the fact that many small appliances also give off heat, and a sweltering day becomes exponentially warmer.
Many of us have grills, whether gas or charcoal, that we never use and sit on our patio begging for meals to be cooked. By keeping the hot coals or gas outdoors, you're keeping your house cooler. If you have an electric pizza oven, use it outside on the porch or patio area and let its heat dissipate.
If you Have to Cook Indoors, Do It in the Morning or at Night
If you must cook indoors, cook and bake either in the morning or later at night. By cooking when the temperatures are at their highest for the day, you'll add to the heat and take more work to cool down your home. Instead, cook and bake in the morning to make meals for that day and at night to prepare for the next day's meals.
If you want to maximize your efforts, make several meals in one session, freeze them, and then all you have to do is thaw them out or heat them quickly. Not only is this wise advice for the hotter months, it will save time and energy any time of year.
Purchase a Smart Thermostat
If you have a traditional thermostat, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. A wifi connected device will help optimize the temperature in your home throughout the day, can be set to a schedule, so you're not wasting energy when no one's home, and with most, you can connect with an app on your phone to make changes on the go.
If your current thermostat is over ten years old, you'll want to look into a more efficient one. Smart thermostats repay the investment quickly through lower energy bills. Look for the ENERGY STAR label so you know it's been quality tested, and how much it can save you on energy costs. Also, watch for sales at warehouse-style stores as you'll likely find discounts.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Travel journalist, Published author, Editor, Copywriter
- Expertise: Travel content, Travel segment expert
- Education: Kent State University
- Published Work: Secret Pittsburgh (2020)
- Over 700 articles published both online and in print.
Experience: Karyn Locke got her start writing Walt Disney World reviews over ten years ago for trekaroo. Bitten by the travel bug compliments of her military brat upbringing, she’s put her passion for road trips into popular content featuring theme parks, large cities and small towns, where the locals go, and of course, Disney theme parks.
Present day, Karyn is the lead writer and editor for her travel website, Sand and Snow. She also highlights the best places to visit as the travel expert on a monthly live television segment on KDKA Pittsburgh's Talk Pittsburgh show. Additionally, she’s proud to call herself both a travel expert and travel editor at Wealth of Geeks and uses her experience at both jobs to provide tips and tricks to all who love to hit the road.
You can find Karyn on her travel website, Sand and Snow, and on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and X @karynlocke. Email Karyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.