How to Stay Cool When Temperatures are Hot
Warm summer nights are one of the best things about this sultry season unless you’re stuck indoors. Even the most eco-friendly of us have a tough time roughing it in the heat at home; it’s just no fun. There’s nothing quite like the AC to cool you down, but there are steps you can take to keep your house cool, minimize electrical usage and keep big summer bills at bay.
It may sound simple but think about the breezes around your home and which direction they blow. With a little trial and error, you can use those natural winds to your advantage, creating a cooling wind tunnel through your home. With double-sash windows, experiment with both the top and bottom open slightly. Keep windows closed as much as possible during the hottest daytime hours and open at night for easy sleeping.
White blinds, shades, and curtains help reflect the sun’s rays and keep the inside of your home cool. Line colored fabric with white for this cooling property.
Cool with vegetation
According to www.energy.gov, trees and shrubs reduce the temperature of a home’s exterior by as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area that allows it, add shade-providing vegetation, especially on the sides of your home that withstand the longest hours of direct sunlight. Deciduous trees are best at shading your home, but both leaves and evergreen trees cool the air around them as water evaporates from the surface of the leaves and needles.
Fans can make a big impact on air temperature. Ceiling fans use about as much energy as a 100-watt light bulb and allow users to raise the AC temperature about four degrees, which equates to a 30 percent reduction in electricity usage. Remember to use fans for comfort and turn them off when not in use. And be sure to adjust the fan blade direction during cool months: blades should move counter-clockwise in warm weather and clockwise to push warm air downward in cool seasons.
If you’re looking for ways to stay cool this summer, perform a quick air leak evaluation. Check all entrances and windows for proper caulking and weather stripping to keep warm air out and cool air inside where it belongs. Check for and seal any cracks around your home’s perimeter.
For evening hours before bedtime, create an inviting outdoor living space that allows you to escape the stuffiness that builds indoors. Transform whatever space you have, a small balcony or rooftop patio, into your own personal cooling oasis with comfortable chairs and an end table to hold an ice-cold drink.
If you’re fully committed to keeping cool without AC, check out the latest technology in indoor cooling, green air conditioners. Many models boast decreasing single room air temperature by as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit in moments, using only 10 percent of the energy needed by traditional air conditioning.
Talk to us: It’s hot in the city! How are you keeping things cool on the home front?