Summer is here and so is the squelching heat! We are all going to make the most of these few precious months of warmth before the harsh winter rolls in. While it is great to break out in those shorts and flop around the beach or pool in sandals. The fact remains that a house not adjusted for the summer heat will become unbearably hot and uncomfortable.
Cooling down your house in the summertime may seem impossible once you begin to receive your summer energy bill. Extreme heat, humidity, and sunshine drastically increase the need for more energy in order to keep rooms and entire homes cooled off at all times. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can reduce your energy bill throughout the summer regardless of the size of your home and the climate you live in all year-around.
Here are some tips and tricks for cooling your home while on a budget:
Use Alternative Cooking Methods –
Rather than heating up your kitchen and other areas of your home when using the stove or oven, opt for using a toaster oven or a slow cooker. Using a slow cooker or a toaster oven reduces energy usage while preventing the appliance from generating additional heat throughout your home. You know just how hot the house can get if you have the oven on to cook dinner. Better yet, get outside and grill up some yummy eats!
Fans Increase Air Circulation –
Circulate fresh air artificially by using fans throughout your home. The quickest way to cool your home using fans is to position the fan-head upwards towards the ceiling and have it operating at the highest speed. This method will effectively cool your home because the hot air rises and the cool air sinks. When the fan sends cool air upwards, it cools the hot air which will quickly sink as cool air, making your home feel more comfortable.
Whether you have ceiling fans throughout your home or use standing and portable table solutions, fans help to keep air circulated in your home even on the hottest days of the year. When air is properly circulated, you can avoid a “stale” and “sticky” feeling in your home, even if you are not using an air conditioner.
Efficient Air Conditioning Systems –
Air-conditioning your whole house immediately comes to mind to beat the heat, but with that idea comes the expense of installing an A/C unit if you don’t already have one and the high energy bills that follow. A funny scenario would be to sit in front a block of ice and have the fan blow the cold air towards you. This certainly is one way to keep cool, but a messy one at that! There are more practical and affordable ways of keeping your home cool in the summer and ones that will not cost you an arm and a leg.
Using a central air conditioning unit is much more energy-efficient than utilizing multiple window units to keep your home cool throughout the hottest months of the year. However, there are energy-efficient window units available on the market that help to improve air circulation even if you have a central air cooling system installed and in place.
If you spend the majority of your time at home in one or two rooms, let’s say the living room and bedroom, then you can install small window A/C units that are more energy efficient than their larger whole house central A/C units. Look for deals on these A/C window units to save some money. They are fairly easy to install and will cool the house down a lot more than just opening the windows.
Light-Blocking Shades –
Using light-blocking shades in all rooms that receive full or direct sun throughout the summertime. Light-blocking shades not only help to eliminate glares and extreme brightness in the home, but they also help to deflect the sun’s warmth from increasing the temperature throughout your house.
Install an awning on the exterior of your home to combat the heat from reaching into your home through windows that receive direct sunlight. The best place to install your awnings would be where the sun comes in direct contact for long periods of time with the windows, entrances, and exits of your house. Tinting your windows and glass doors is another great way to beat the summer heat.
Eliminate Air Drafts –
Before extremely hot or cold months arrive, thoroughly inspect your home’s doors, windows, and other points of entry for potential air leaks and drafts. When you have cracks and air drafts in window sills and beneath doorways, your home requires much more energy from fans and air conditioners to maintain a cool and consistent temperature. Fixing and repairing air drafts and other cracks in your home’s foundation is essential when you want to cool down your home without increasing the amount of energy your household requires on a regular basis during the summer months.
Plan Household Chores Early –
When you are expecting a heat wave and want to keep your home as cool as possible, prepare your meals ahead of time to avoid adding heat to your house when it is least comfortable. Do laundry early in the morning or as night time approaches to keep from overheating your house.
If your home is tiled then mop the floor with cool water to dissipate the heat since floors are known to retain heat very easily. Check your home for any rugs that you have as decorative pieces and consider rolling it up for storage because rugs are great at retaining heat and could actually make your home feel warmer than it really is.
Open Up The Windows –
This idea seems like a “no-brainer” but is often overlooked or not utilized. Every house has windows, so try opening them up to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the house, especially in the cooler evenings. How it works is that the fresh air or outside breeze will take away the heat from your skin and also from the surface area of your home to give that cooling effect. Some windows have screens over them that are removable; it is advisable to remove screens to allow the air to circulate more freely.
Even if you do not currently have air conditioning in your home, there are plenty of affordable ways to cool down your house during warm months in just about any climate. With enough planning and a bit of creativity, you can drastically reduce energy usage while cutting down on your utility bills even during the months that demand the most energy regardless of your location.
If all else fails, then head to the water for a nice dip in the public swimming pool to try and cool down. Summer is all about beautiful weather and outdoor activities so try spending more of your time outside having fun and less time inside in the hot stifling house. Remember to take it easy while outdoors to avoid possible heat stroke during rigorous activities. Have fun this summer and save money by using all or some of the above ideas!