Hot weather has arrived, and we’re all looking for ways to keep our homes cool and comfortable in the summer months.
Of course, the typical way to cool your home in the summer is to install air conditioners. You can opt for window units, central air units or even split system air conditioners when the usual models don’t work. Aside from air conditioning, there are a few little tricks you can try to cool things off.
Let In the Breeze
When certain parts of your house are shaded, or if there is a reasonably cool breeze outside, open up some windows and let in the air. Just make sure your windows have screens or you’ll be letting in more than cool air.
It can be hard to grasp that heavy curtains really keep a house cool, but they block out that hot sunlight and help keep the temperature down. Keep the drapes drawn during the sunniest parts of the days, especially in south-facing windows.
The trick is to combine this and the previous tip in various combinations as the sun moves through the day. Perhaps in the morning, certain curtains must be closed tight and other windows can be opened. Then as the sun moves, the pattern reverses later in the afternoon.
A simple fan can make a huge difference in your home’s temperature. They don’t literally cool the air, just help your body cool off by evaporating moisture on your skin. A fan can also help you get some air flow through your house, eliminating those stuffy hot pockets that build up when the air is still.
Good-quality models are quiet, and if you don’t mind spending a bit more, there are some newer “bladeless” models that are almost silent. A fan that mounts right in the window is excellent for bringing in the cooler evening and night-time air.
Drink Lots of Ice-Cold Water
To be fair, this isn’t an option that cools your house. It cools you, and that should still count for something. Having a pitcher of water in the fridge, possibly flavored with some cut-up fruit will help you stay hydrated and it will cool you down from the inside.
Turn off the Oven
Doing a lot of baking or cooking on the stove will add a tremendous amount of heat to your home. Adjust your summer menu to include more foods that don’t require a lot of cooking, or try using the microwave a little more often.
This home improvement project is more involved than just pulling the drapes. Adding awnings, overhands or small roofs over large windows or doors can help add more permanent shading when the sun is high in the sky.
While we’re already on the subject of home improvement projects, you could also consider the color of your house. A dark home will absorb heat, leading to warmer interiors during the summer. If it is within your budget, you could consider a new paint job or a replacement of the siding to a light gray or off-white to reflect that heat away.