Saving Energy in the Summer
The basement in your home doesn’t always have to be thought of as a dungeon. Finish it, and give yourself some functional, additional living space. Using energy saving ideas in the design of the space, will ultimately save you money, save the planet, and keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.
- If you need to dig deeper into the ground to lower your concrete floor slab, things work in your favor. The lower into the ground you go, the more of the earth’s natural buffering capacity you get against extreme heat or cold. Your energy efficient basement will then be much cooler than the rest of the house in summer.
- A cool basement will cause humidity to condense out of the air, leading to mould and mildew. Invest in energy-efficient dehumidifiers. Also reduce the amount of fresh air entering the basement.
- Windows – Make as much use of natural light as possible using prefab fiberglass window wells. Otherwise an alternative would be to use energy efficient pot lights.
- Floors – The concrete floors may be painted very attractively. You may paint a checkered design, one color throughout, or stain it to look like tiles. This is cool in summer, and will save on vacuuming and cleaning carpets.
- Walls – Leave the walls concrete, but paint them using several shades, to look like limestone or brick. Corrugated metal paneling will bring brightness and reflection, as will mirror panels. Paint the walls lighter colors which will also reflect light.
- Ceilings – LED’s are better than fluorescent lights. They deliver a higher quality light and last 25 times as long. Ceiling fans use less energy than cool air conditioning. The fan must be set to spin anti-clockwise in summer, to save 40% on your energy.
- Bathrooms – Make use of white or light paint, and chrome hardware to reflect light. Low flow toilets have two flush levels – one for liquids and one for solids.
- Have your main socializing area in the space that gets the most natural light. The TV area can be in one of the darker spots.
Other ways to save on energy, would be to switch off all appliances and lights when you are not using them, and then also to make use of specially labeled energy saving products