Are you tired of hot, stuffy days when the heat just won’t go away? Do you find yourself sitting in front of a fan all day or cranking the AC up to the max? Don’t despair: there are other ways to keep your home livable.
Here are ten tips you can use to stay cool this summer regardless of whether you have an AC.
Keep the Air Flowing
One little-known trick for keeping your home cool is to open strategic windows. By opening the highest windows on the downwind side of the house and the lowest windows on the upwind side of the house, you can create a cooling pressure current.
You’ve probably noticed how the heat from the day can seep into the walls, leaving your house boiling long after the air outside has cooled down. Attic fans and ceiling fans can help you ventilate the air and keeps the heat from staying in your house. While your neighbors might pay for expensive air conditioning to make the indoors match the outdoor temperature at night, you won’t need to.
Most people know to avoid baking when it’s hot, but few think to take measures when cooking or bathing. The steam from a hot shower can have a similar effect, and the food sizzling on the stove will also heat the air inside your home. Kitchen exhaust fans and bathroom fans can speed the hot air from these daily activities out of your home.
On cool nights, let the air in as much as possible. While you may be uncomfortable keeping windows open all night for safety reasons, you can still cool your house by keeping windows open in the evening before you go to bed.
Block Out The Sun
Don’t underestimate the power of a mild barrier in front of the sun. If you have blinds on your windows, keep them closed during the hours when the sun would otherwise beat straight in. Even the flimsiest shades can make a huge difference in keeping the heat out of your house. It’s just the opposite of winter, when you might keep your blinds closed whenever there isn’t direct sunlight to block the heat from escaping your house.
Do you already use blackout curtains to get better sleep? If so, you’re in luck. These curtains are extra useful in the summer heat since they completely block the sunlight. Even if you don’t think you need blackout curtains to sleep, you may want to invest in some to keep your home cooler.
If you’re willing to spend more money, use awnings to keep the temperature from rising in your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, awnings on westward-facing windows can reduce your solar heat gain, or temperature rise due to sunshine, by as much as 77%.
Invest in Appliances that Don’t Emit Heat Inside
Are you still using incandescent lights? If so, it may be time to finally get rid of them. These bulbs waste about 90% of their energy by emitting heat, which is the last thing you want in the summer. Using CFLs or LEDs rather than incandescent lights will lower your energy bill and keep your home that much cooler.
Cook hot food outside. While we touched on this earlier, the best way to keep heat from building up in your home during food prep is to make your food outdoors, as in grilling. You could also take your toaster oven outdoors and do some light baking that way.