Inexpensive mini blinds or curtains can work wonders for reducing the sunlight and heat streaming in through your windows! At my house, installing inexpensive blinds on the south-facing windows completely changed the temperature in that part of the house.
Make sure blinds or curtains are white on the side facing the outside. Solar sun screens and window film are other options that can greatly reduce the heat coming through windows.
Incandescent light bulbs can significantly heat up a room. Replace standard bulbs with high-efficiency, low-heat CFL (compact fluorescent lights) or LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs, and turn off lights when not needed.
Eat cold meals, cook outside on the grill, or use the microwave for cooking when possible to minimize heat indoors.
Computers, TVs, and other electronics generate quite a bit of heat when sitting idle or even when turned off, so unplug devices when not in use. An easy way to do this is to plug electronics into a surge protector which has an on/off switch, then turn the switch off when the devices are not in use.
Windows and doors are a major source of heat gain in the house, so keep windows closed and locked and doors tightly closed to prevent cool air from escaping. Older single pane windows and doors without proper weather stripping are the worst culprits.
If you can’t replace your windows and doors with more energy efficient models, repair any gaps in orreplace weather stripping around and under windows and doors. Also, don’t open windows at night unless the temperature drops to the mid-70s F or lower.
A paddle ceiling fan or portable fan uses much less energy than an air conditioner, but they’re only effective when you’re in the room to feel the cooling, so turn them off when you leave.
Run ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction (when looking up) when you’re in the room to help keep you cool through evaporation. This will allow you to set the thermostat on your air conditioner higher and save energy.
While your AC system is cranking away, the filter is getting more use than usual. By changing the AC air filter every month or so during the highest use months allows air to flow easily through your HVAC system, making it run more efficiently and saving energy.
You heard me! Don’t run the dishwasher, clothes washer/dryer, or other appliances during the heat of the day, since these machines generate heat and humidity that will be hard to overcome. Put these chores off until evening when possible.
When cleaning clothes:
Turn your hot water heater down to a lower temperature setting so it will run less and produce less heat.
Hot showers create a lot of excess heat and humidity in the house, so:
Long term strategies to keep your house cooler include:
These are only a few of the many strategies for keeping your house cool in the summer. Put some of these home improvements to your to-do list for relief in years to come. These were some great tips from our friends at TodaysHomeowner.com!