How to Throw an Energy-Efficient Summer Party

By Jessica Bivins, May 12, 2017, Energy Efficiency, Events & Fun, Family

Did someone say “party”? When it’s blazing hot outside, party prep and the bash itself can build up unwanted heat in your home and put your air conditioner on overtime. Whether you’re hosting your child’s graduation party or you’re just getting some friends together, these strategies will help keep you and your guests comfortably cool without running up your electricity bill.

1. Do your baking and roasting at night.

If you need to use the oven for roasting or baking, don’t use it at the hottest times of day. That will add heat to your house and make your air conditioner work harder and longer. Instead, bake the cupcakes at night, when outdoor temperatures are cooler and you can open the windows to allow the heat to escape.

How to Throw an Energy-Efficient Summer Party | Bounce Energy Blog

2. Use hot-weather cooking tools.

Slow cookers, the toaster oven and the microwave are all low-energy methods to help you get party ready without raising the indoor temperature. Of course, keeping the cooking heat outdoors is always a good party move, so fire up the grill! What’s summer without a good barbecue? In fact, borrow a neighbor’s grill so you have an extra cooking station for grilled sides, like garden veggies, corn on the cob and even grilled fruit for dessert.

3. Don’t set the A/C to extra icy.

If you’re having an indoor party, keep in mind that guests make extra heat. Not only do they radiate it, a little more gets into your house each time your door opens for a new arrival. If you think cranking up the air conditioner will make air colder and cool things off more quickly, you’re mistaken. The air conditioner’s job is to send the heat outside, and it can only remove so much at a time, no matter where you set the thermostat.

To keep guests comfortable, set up fans around the party zone. The moving air will help guests feel cooler. Use exhaust fans during pre-party cooking and showers. To minimize heat output, keep large appliances like the washer, dryer and dishwasher off limits just before people arrive.

How to Throw an Energy-Efficient Summer Party | Bounce Energy Blog

4. Host it on the patio.

Give your air conditioner a break and have the party in the backyard. Schedule the party in the early evening, if possible, when the sun is less intense and the trees and buildings are making more shade.

To make the patio comfortable for your guests, buy, borrow or rent a collapsible gazebo or a series of patio umbrellas. Large potted plants are a nice touch, too. Borrow outdoor furniture from neighbors and friends so you have ample seating as well as conversation clusters. Set up plenty of yard games to keep kids — and kids at heart — engaged and playing. Post signs in the front yard to direct traffic around the house instead of through it.

5. Store chilled beverages on ice.

Keeping a spare refrigerator in the garage is convenient, and it may seem like a good idea to use it during the party. But the garage gets mighty hot in the summer. When you add all the people opening and closing the door multiple times for hours on end grabbing chilled drinks, the fridge will run almost constantly. The same is true even for a kitchen fridge. Instead, keep bottles and cans chilled and within reach by using coolers and large tubs of ice.

Having a party in the summer doesn’t have to leave you feeling hot and tired, with a sky-high electricity bill as an unwanted souvenir. With a few smart strategies, you can beat the heat without scorching all the cash in your wallet.

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