October 13, 2018

Keep Your Cool Naturally

Grade Level: 3-8

Activity Overview: Have students try 2-3 strategies for cooling their house naturally throughout the week. Have them keep a log of the strategies they try and how they work.

TEKS: SCI.2.7C, SCI.4.7C

Time: 10 to 20 minutes per day over one week.

Understanding Energy

Staying cool takes energy. There is energy in creating cool air, through electricity. Being unintentional about your energy use is a waste of energy. Not only does this waste money, but it wastes energy, which is made from natural resources.

Natural resources are things that the earth supplies us with, such as rocks, plants, water, soil, etc. But not all natural resources are renewable, meaning they are easily made again.

Some natural resources are nonrenewable, meaning they are either in limited supply, or the amount of time it takes for the earth to make them again is so long that it can’t be used by the same people using the resource now, meaning the earth won’t remake them in our lifetime.

Many forms of energy that we use to make electricity in our homes are made from these non-renewable natural resources. Either way, it’s important to be careful with how we consume, meaning use, natural resources; otherwise, we are wasting them and the money, time and energy it takes to make them and replenish, remake, them.

Natural Strategies for Cooling Your Home

When we cool our homes, we are using energy through electricity. Cooling your home in the Texas heat can be expensive, and if you aren’t intentional about how you do it, it can be wasteful as well. Consider the ways that you can keep your house cool naturally, saving energy and money!

Strategies

  • Consider your temperature! No one wants to be roasting all summer, but your house doesn’t need to be so cool that you need a sweater.
  • Close your curtains and blinds. Making sure your blinds or curtains are shut will help keep direct sunlight out. The sun puts off solar energy, a type of heat energy that can make spaces much warmer.
  • Shut the doors! Shut the doors and windows to the outside, this will make sure that you aren’t just sending cool air outside, resulting in continuously cooling a space that stays warm. Shut the doors to rooms that you aren’t using. Shutting the doors to extra rooms will help keep the airflow circulating in smaller spaces you are actually using, requiring less energy to cool your space.
  • Sleep without ACInstead of running your AC extremely low at night, consider opening your windows to cool off and using fewer blankets. You can also use cooling blankets, pillows or beds to help you stay cool while you sleep.
  • Take cooler showers. Taking a hot shower in the summer not only requires extra energy from your water heater, it heats you up just to make you want to cool down after. That is a waste of energy. Instead, consider taking a cooler shower. 
  • Plant shade. Plant trees to shade your house and yard, but make sure they are placed far enough from your house and call before you dig!