When the summer temps creep up and you can’t seem to catch a break, it’s tempting to crank the air conditioning or sit in front of the nearest fan for refuge. It turns out that there are plenty of other ways to stay cool without racking up your electric bill and you’ll feel like a DIY star after you’re done! Here are some awesome tips on how to keep your home and yourself cool in the summer heat.
Keep Your Blinds Closed
According to Family Handyman, about 30% of the heat in your home comes from windows. Utilizing your shades and blinds can make a world of difference by reducing the temperature in your home by almost 20 degrees. Basically, closing your blinds prevents your home from becoming a greenhouse.
Be Smart About Doors
Closing off warmer rooms throughout your home can help the heat from permeating other parts of the home during the hottest hours. Also, opening doors and allowing air to flow through the entire home at night is important in keeping cool.
Hack a Fan Instead of Using AC
Here’s a simple trick…fill a large mixing bowl with ice and position it at an angle in front of a large fan so the wind whips off of the ice creating an extra chilly temperature blowing through.
Change Your Sheets
Swapping your flannel or fleece blankets and sheets for a light, cotton version will make a big difference in temperature. And as an added bonus, but yourself a buckwheat pillow or two. Because buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them, they won’t hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows, even when packed together inside a pillow case.
Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise
Whether you know it or not, your ceiling fan needs to be adjusted seasonally. Set counter clockwise at at a higher speed, the fan’s airflow will create a chilled breeze effect that will make you and your guests “feel” cooler.
Focus on the Temperature of Your Body, Not the House
Our ancestors survived without air conditioning, and so can we. Try sipping extra cold drinks or placing a cold cloth to your wrists or neck to cool yourself from the inside out. Also be smart about your clothing choices and your proximity to others to avoid that body heat.
Turn on Your Bathroom Fans
Or the exhaust fan in your kitchen. These are designed to pull out hot air that accumulates when you cook or take a hot shower.
Heat Proof Your Bed
Fill a hot water bottle with ice and water or put it in the freezer, then grab it before bed and place it at the foot of your bed. Also, slightly dampening your sheets with a spray bottle will help you stay cool.
Let the Night Air In
Temperatures often drop during the nighttime hours. Make the most of this time by cracking your windows before you go to bed. You can even create some wind by placing your fans in front to help the cool air flow through the home. Just make sure to close all of your windows and blinds in the morning before it gets too hot.
Ditch the incandescent lights
If you ever needed motivation to make the switch to CFLs, or compact fluorescent lamps, this is it. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit, so tossing them to the curb will make a small difference in cooling your home while lowering your electric bill.
Ditch the Oven and Get Grilling
Using your oven or stove in the summer heat will make you home hotter. Avoid this heat by turning up the heat on the grill or enjoy some no-cooking recipes through the hottest times. After all, who doesn’t want to get all the time they can using their outdoor furniture and accessories?!
Make a Few Long-Term Improvements
If you’re committed to the whole no-AC thing, you can make a couple changes to your home that will keep it cooler for seasons to come. Insulated window films are a smart purchase as they work similarly to blinds. And additions like awnings and planted trees or vines on or in front of light-facing windows will shield your home from the sun’s rays, reduce the amount of heat your home absorbs and make your investment nothing but worthwhile.