While it might seem like you were just trying to find ways to keep your home warm without turning up the thermostat, the hot days of summer are already just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about how you could keep your home cool without spending to do just that!
Become a Fan of Fans
Ceiling fans don’t work by actually lowering the temperature of a room, but they help the air in a room circulate in a way that will help you feel more comfortable. When the weather is warmer, make sure your ceiling fan is set to rotate counterclockwise and that you run it at a higher speed. This will help direct cool air down where you’ll be able to feel it. Box fans placed in windows can also help direct heat out of your house.
Install Awnings on Windows
If you have windows that get a lot of direct sunlight, installing awnings on them is an extremely effective way to significantly cut down on the amount of heat that comes in through them. By installing awnings on windows that get the most sunlight can cut down on the amount of heat generated by the sun that comes in through those windows by up to 77%.
The cost of installing an awning will depend on things like how large of an awning you need, what material you want the awning to be made of, and how many windows you want to have them installed over. But considering how much heat they can prevent from getting into your home, awnings could absolutely be worth considering.
Be Careful About Opening Windows
When it’s hot out and you don’t want to turn on the air conditioner, it’s tempting to go ahead and open all the windows in the house. But on a very hot day, this can only make your home warmer, not cooler. Try to only open your windows when it’s cooler outside than it is inside your house, such as during the evening and early in the morning before the sun has a chance to heat things up too much. When you do open your windows, try to only open the ones that will allow a nice breeze into the house.
Although it can be tempting to open your curtains and blinds open during the day to let some sun in, if you really want to keep your home cool, it’s best to keep them closed during the warmest parts of the day. The type of window treatments you have on your windows can also help to keep your home cooler. Medium-colored curtains that are lined with a white, plastic material will help reflect the heat from the sun back out the window and cut down on heat gains by up to 33%. Reflective blinds can help cut down on solar heat gains by as much as 45%.
Check Your Windows and Doors
When you winterize your home, you typically do so with the purpose of keeping heat in. But many of the same things you do to keep your home warm in the winter will also help keep your home cool in the summer. One of those things is making sure there aren’t any drafts around your doors and windows. If it’s been a while since you last checked for drafts around your doors and windows, now would be a good time to do so since drafty doors and windows are some of the key ways cool air can escape from your home. Seal up any worn caulk and make sure your weatherstripping isn’t worn down. If your doors and windows are getting old, replacing them with a new steel door or vinyl replacement windows could help make your home more energy efficient and more comfortable all year round.
Watch Your Electricity Usage
Since many things powered by electricity generate heat, being mindful of how you use them is one way to help keep your home a bit cooler. Even if something is powered down or in standby mode, they are probably still consuming some amount of electricity and generating some heat. If you have a room full of things that are often powered down, but aren’t used all the time, like a TV, DVD player, cable box, computer, or video game system, plugging all of those things into a power strip and turning off the power strip when you’re not actually using any of them is an easy way to make sure they aren’t consuming any energy when you don’t want them to be. Even energy efficient light bulbs can still generate heat, so make sure you turn lights off when you’re not in the room.
Since many appliances have the intended purpose of generating heat, like your stove, dryer, and dishwasher, it’s best to use them as little as possible during the hottest parts of the day. If you have room in your backyard, you might want to hang a clothesline to let your clothes air dry. Not to mention, grilling can be a fun alternative to using the stove!
These are just a few very easy ways to keep your home cool during the summer without having to make too much of an effort. If you want to take things to the next level, you could also look into having more insulation installed to your home or planting more trees in the yard. Having mature trees in your yard on the side of your home that gets the most sunlight can help provide shade for your home and naturally reduce your cooling bills.