Pool parties, cookouts, and other home gatherings will begin to pop up on your calendar as the weather rises into the summer. Whether it be for Father’s Day, a graduation party, Independence Day, or just a summer cookout, practicing energy-efficient steps can still help you save on your bills. Here are some tips on how to make your next gathering more energy-efficient:
Plan Ride-Share/Carpool Groups
Planning out carpools can save gas money for everyone involved. Have guests that live relatively close to one another either choose a designated driver or split a ride with businesses like Lyft or Uber.
Sharing rides cuts down on overall traffic on the road as well. Researchers at MIT developed an algorithm that found 3,000 sedans would be able to take care of almost all taxi demand in New York City, “with an average wait time of only 2.7 minutes.”
Use Fans to Cool the Room
Ceiling fans and portable fans are an easy way to keep cold air circulating in your room and save money on energy. While fans don’t actually cool the air, moving air evaporates moisture from the skin at a faster rate than normal, cooling the body. This is known as the wind-chill effect.
Using the AC in conjunction with the fan can save you money while maintaining the same level of comfort. Increasing the thermostat 2° F during the summer while using the fan to better circulate the air can result in a 15% reduction in air conditioning energy use.
Plan Parties for the Evening
Avoid the daytime heat surges by opting for an evening gathering instead. As temperatures cool, air conditioning won’t have to work as hard to reach your optimal setting. When weather permits it, you can open windows to cool the house and turn off the thermostat altogether and use the wind-chill effect from the breeze and/or fan.
Remember to turn off the air when you open the windows; many people forget to turn off the AC when the windows are open, which actually wastes more energy.
Plan Refreshments Efficiently
If you are planning to prepare food for your gathering, look into how you can save energy using alternative techniques.
- Use the correct eye size for the pot when you’re cooking on the stovetop. Using an 8-inch burner on a 6-inch pan wastes over 40% of heat energy to the air.
- Covering a pot when boiling water will cut the wait time, and energy use, in half.
- Instead of having guests constantly opening the refrigerator to grab drinks, pack them in a cooler or other container filled with ice. This will keep the internal temperature and humidity of the fridge consistent and prevent it from working overtime.