It's that time of year when the heat starts to sneak up on us. Here are some of our favorite tips for staying cool this summer without blasting the A/C. You may have seen some of these tips before, but you know at SOU we are all about recycling!

Open windows and use fans at night and in the early morning to blow the cool, fresh air in. Create a cooling cross breeze through your home by placing fans in windows to pull air in on one side of your home (preferably the cooler side). To cool as much of your home as possible, tightly close the windows near the fan and open a window in a room farthest away from the fan to exhaust air out. Just be sure to close up when the outside temperatures begin to warm up.

Close your blinds or other window coverings during the day on windows that get a lot of sun exposure to help keep out the heat.

Don’t add to the heat inside. Avoid using heat-producing appliances, like your oven and dryer, during the day. Instead, save money and energy by line drying your clothes, grilling outside (don’t forget the sunscreen!), and drying your dishes on a rack. Plus, as you already know, turn off lights and electronics when not in use.

Use ceiling fans in occupied rooms to create air flow that will cause a cooling effect. But remember, ceiling fans only work to cool people (by creating air movement across your skin) not air! So if you leave the room, turn off the fan to save energy. Also, make sure you adjust your ceiling fans seasonally to spin the correct direction. In the summer your fan should turn counter-clockwise.

The summer heat may seem oppressive, but there are many ways you can beat the heat and keep your house and office cool! Do you have some trusty summer energy saving tips of your own? We’d love to hear them! Email sustainability@sou.edu and we will share our favorite tips on our Facebook page. In the meantime, keep cool, stay hydrated, and enjoy a sustainable summer!