Keeping cool is the first thing on everyone’s mind as the temperatures begin to rise. There are a number of ways to keep you and your home cool during the hottest part of the year. When the Summer temperatures begin to hit triple digits it’s time to seal the house and turn on the air conditioning. It doesn’t matter if you have a central unit or a window unit be sure to turn it on when the heat gets to extremes.
Forget about Natural Light
While it may sound like a bad thing in the hottest part of the day not having any natural light coming in from the side of the home the sun is shining in can save you a great deal of money. Putting film on the windows, closing the blinds and curtains or even hanging a dark blanket that the sun can’t penetrate will help to cool the home a few degrees. You can always remove the blanket and drop the curtains.
Create A Breeze
Ceiling fans, floors fans, box fans or any other fan that you can find are great for creating breezes in the home that will help you to feel cooler. You can open the windows when the summer is in the low to mid seventies and still feel fine. Leaving windows open overnight when the temperatures are in the seventies can get the house cool enough that you don’t have to turn the air on the next day. It just depends on where you live and if you’re comfortable doing this. Remember fans cool people so you can turn them off when you decide to go out or just plan to leave the room for a couple hours.
Don’t Create Heat
Learn your appliances and the outside temperature patterns. If you insist on using the oven or the clothes dryer do it very early in the morning or late at night when it’s cooler. Avoiding both of these all together during the summer will help to keep your home cooler and you’ll avoid turning the air down too low even on the hottest days. A toaster oven has a number of temperature settings and an option to leave it on for extended cooking times making it a nice alternative to a full size oven on a hot day. The smaller oven doesn’t produce as much heat even though it can cook at the same temperatures.
Placing awnings over the windows and the doors on the outside will create shade where none existed before. If you have a porch on your home a cover for it is a good investment if it doesn’t have one already. These items both create more shade for your home and make it more difficult for the heat to reach you. Retractable awnings can be put on your home and rolled up when the weather is bad to prevent damage to them.
While leaks in windows and doors are known for making it more difficult to heat/cool the home most people overlook the fireplace. Close the flue during the summer to prevent cool air from escaping and hot air from entering. Don’t forget to check the windows and doors while you’re at it. Weather stripping can work wonders at keeping the hot air out.
Some carefully place trees can provide shade to the roof of the home when they are full grown. Cooling down the roof will cool down the inside while keeping some of the heat out of the windows. The trees will help to direct any breeze that might be blowing directly into your home when the windows are open.
There are a number of ways to keep your home cool both with and without the air conditioning. When the temperatures are in the triple digits nothing beats the air conditioner and keeping the home cool or even a touch cold through the night can make the scalding days easier to bear.