How To Keep Your House Cool Without AC
With summer almost here, there’s plenty of reasons to get excited, but sometimes, summer weather can bring too much of a good thing. Many of us in warmer climates are familiar with the feeling of that hot and humid weather getting into your house. In return, it slowly saps any motivation and energy you may have had to actually work on some of the projects or tasks you had planned.
Many people circumvent this issue by using air conditioning, 70% of homes in the U.S. as a matter of fact. However, this comes with a cost. Literally. For example, when you use devices to remedy the heat, you’re expending a lot of energy and potentially driving up your utility bills, especially in surprise heatwaves. Here are some of your key choices if you’re looking to reduce your usage and save each month in the process.
Windows & Blinds
Something obvious like whole house fans are great ways to help cool off your home, but in some cases, such as logistical or financial reasons, you want to try and find an alternative. Luckily, there are plenty on the table.
For example, take a look at your windows and blinds. Specifically, how and when you leave them open. If you live in an area where it goes substantially cooler at night, you’d be surprised the benefits you reap by opening the windows when the sun goes down. This gives you the chance to replace warm air with a cool, refreshing breeze. Options such as whole house fans work on a similar principle, just on a more efficient level. If you want to combine these for optimal efficiency, start by cracking a window open on the main floor of your home. After that, open a window up on the second floor on the other side of your home. Turn on a fan here to suck the air out, and you’ll create an effective cycle of air going in and out.
Now, how do your blinds factor into this? The opposite way. Make sure that you keep your blinds closed during the day as much as possible. The reason for this is that a lot of unwanted heat in your home enters through your windows via the greenhouse effect. This means that sunlight and heat easily enter, but aren’t able to escape. To avoid this problem, you want to keep your blinds closed. If you don’t want to miss out on all the natural light, you can try to focus on just closing the blinds on westward and southward-facing windows. For further efficiency, swap out for light-colored blinds that will reflect the sunlight during the day, and open them at night.
Another major contributor to heat inside the home is appliances. Most people are quick to think of the oven in this scenario, but the truth is that there are several appliances worth looking at here. For example, laundry machines generate a lot of heat. The washer uses heated water the majority of the time, and your dryer uses hot air. This tends to escape and radiate from the machine. To cut down on added heat, you can try to do your laundry loads at night when things are cooler or simply wash your clothes in cold water. Keep your dryer vent clean so its cycle cleaner doesn’t have to work as hard.
Surprisingly, you can even make some changes on the outside of your home to help as well. Exterior shutters or shades on your windows can help provide a layer of sun protection, but awnings are the most effective option. In the long term, you can plant more trees and greenery, or save toward a roof replacement or repainting. In time, these may make their costs back in saved energy costs.
An unexpected way to keep cool and comfortable in your space during the summer is being optimal with when and how you sleep. Many people in warm climates can relate to the feeling of being unable to sleep due to being overheated. One step is to try and sleep on the lowest floor possible, even the basement. The reason for this is that heat naturally rises, so the lower you sleep, the less heat you have to deal with.
Granted, this isn’t a feasible option for everyone, but another decision you can make is changing the bed sheets that you sleep in at night. When it comes to fabrics, cotton is the premier choice for summer due to the fact that it’s breathable and naturally lightweight. For an even more specialized investment, you can buy specialized wicking sheets or fabric blends.
When it comes to keeping your home a comfortable temperature in the summer, it just involves some extra though and adjustments. No trickery here, just simple solutions to stay cool. For more information on whether or not a whole house fan or attic fan is the right option for you, please contact our experts.