The weather is heating up and that means our energy bills will start creeping up again. Whether you’re in the city or country, increased energy needs mean less money in your pocketbook.
Every cent counts when you’re homesteading. Use these five tips to stay cool with summer around the corner.
I like the scent of laundry fresh from the dryer, but I hate how the dryer heats up the house. Minimize the heat inside your home and, instead, dry your clothes on a line.
I live in the suburbs and don’t have a clothesline, but I’m able to hang my laundry to dry in the eaves of our porch. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
A word of advice: you can air-dry towels initially, but I recommend tossing them in the dryer for 10 minutes to fluff them. Otherwise, they’re stiff and unpleasant.
I love baking, but I don’t like how it heats up the house.
Whenever I have the urge to bake, I make sure to batch what I’m cooking. For example, if I want to bake cookies, I’ll also make bread and a meatloaf while the oven is warmed up.
Remember to batch cook foods according to smell. Go from least to most fragrant. You don’t want your cookies to taste like meatloaf!
See what you can cook that doesn’t require an oven, too. For example, I bought a dehydrator to make jerky instead of using the oven. It’s also a great time of the year to grill dinner outside.
Use the fans
I keep the A/C set to 76 degrees in the summer. It gets a little toasty at that temperature, so I run ceiling fans.
I know it costs energy to run the fans, but it’s significantly cheaper to run the fans than the central air. With a few good gusts of air blowing, you won’t notice the difference.
My sister installed solar panels on her farm three years ago and she loves them. She’s able to bank energy as well as sell surplus energy back to the grid.
Solar panels are definitely an investment, though, and they can take years to recover the expenses. Make sure it’s the right option for you.
You can harness the sun in other ways, though.
Some people use black tanks on the roof of their home to naturally heat water. Others use homemade or store-bought solar ovens to cook things like hot dogs or nachos.
I get it; many homesteads don’t have trees because you need room for crops or livestock. However, trees keep your home shady and enjoyable in the summer.
In fact, two big, shady trees can significantly decrease your home’s energy needs. Go for native, low-maintenance trees that grow quickly in your area. I’ve also planted bushes in front of windows to block out the sun.
You don’t need to suffer under the summer sun. Implement these five small changes to conserve energy and your hard-earned money, no matter the heat.