8 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool this Summer
With summer fast approaching, we’ve decided to explore a few ways to help keep your home a bit cooler this summer without having to rely too heavily on your AC.
As the weather warms and winter is further and further in the rear view mirror, homeowners everywhere have set their sights to summer – vacations, pool parties, beautiful plants and flowers blooming all around. What’s not to love…besides that increased energy bill. Air conditioning isn’t cheap, after all. So, this week we’ve decided to explore a few ways to help keep your home a bit cooler this summer without having to rely too heavily on your AC.
8 Home Cooling Hacks Every Homeowner Will Love
“Turning on the air conditioning is the most convenient solution, but you won’t be too happy once you get your power bill,” says Vince Tuscano, Survival Life. Here are a few frugal alternatives.
1. Upgrade Window Treatments
You knew it was coming, so why wait until the end of the list? Your windows play an important role in the comfort level of your home. Did you know that up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows? Yikes! It’s no wonder the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that windows account for 25-40% of your annual heating and cooling costs. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can fight back:
- Keep your window treatments shut tight. As simple as this may seem, it definitely helps. This simple act “can save you up to 7 percent on bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees,” write Samantha Toscano and Suzy Strutner, Huffington Post.
- Invest in new window treatments. If you are like us, you like looking out your window during those hot summer months. The solution is Solar Shades, which interior designer Shannon Kirby refers to as “the best invention.” This is because “[They are] perfect for daytime to let the light in but keep the heat and harmful rays out.” Basically, solar shades allow you to enjoy the view without sacrificing comfort.
- Motorized shades provide flexibility and control. “Summer is all about being effortless and comfortable,” says stylist Joey Tierney. And what is more effortless than motorized window treatments? It’s a great way to maximize energy efficiency, improve privacy, and make your life just a little bit easier. Next Day Blinds is proud to offer Somfy motorization products with our Honeycomb Shades, Roller Shades, Savannah Shadings, and Woven Wood Shades. You can even enjoy the convenience of setting up a schedule for your shades to go up and down on their own for superior light control throughout the day.
2. Invest in Ceiling Fans
Don’t forget your ceiling fans, which should be adjusted seasonally. Set to run counter-clockwise in the summer, which will “create a wind-chill breeze effect that will make you and your guests feel cooler,” write Toscano and Strutner. Conversely, set your ceiling fans to run clockwise in the winter, which pulls air up, recirculating warm air trapped on the ceiling (remember, heat rises).
3. Let in the Night Air
When it comes to sleeping, cooler is better. So, open those windows and let the cool night air in. “Make the most of these refreshing hours by cracking the windows before you go to bed,” write Toscano and Strutner. “Just be sure to close the windows and blinds before things get too hot in the morning.”
If you live in a humid area, like Maryland and D.C., you know just how uncomfortable those humid summer days can be. It can really help to invest in a nice dehumidifier. “Lowering the humidity will help you feel cooler,” says Tuscano.
5. Turn Off Lights
“Incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit,” write Toscano and Strutner. So, maybe it’s time to make the switch to high-efficiency CFLs. Or, if you don’t have the time and energy to swap out all of your bulbs, you can at least minimize their usage. Be sure to turn off lights when a room is unoccupied. This will reduce energy use and unnecessary heat.
6. Turn On Exhaust Fans
Believe it or not, utilizing your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans can actually help keep your home a bit cooler. “Apart from drawing out any excess steam, these exhaust fans also draw out the heat from other rooms nearby,” says Tuscano.
7. Install a Programmable Thermostat
“Installing a programmable thermostat can help keep your home cool and save a bundle on energy costs,” says Melina Gillies, Family Handyman. “If you’re out of the house all day, your thermostat can be programmed to reduce the temperature a few degrees before you come home, so when you arrive it’s comfortably cool without wasting energy all day.”
Some of today’s newer smart thermostats will also start to learn your habits and adjust the temperature accordingly. It’s pretty amazing!
8. Avoid the Oven
Using an oven or stove can make an already warm home even warmer. Avoid the oven by trying no-cook summer recipes and pre-planning meals ahead so the oven doesn’t need to be used during the day. Smaller appliances like microwaves and crock pots are good alternatives that won’t heat up your home. Another fun solution is to do your cooking outdoors on the grill.