August is the time when we experience the sweltering heat, with average high temperatures in the upper 80s. Cranking the AC can get costly, so here are some other tips to help you keep your house cool in the summer heat.
Keep the blinds closed
As simple as this sounds, keeping the blinds closed can make a huge difference in the temperature of your house. When completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Keep your body cool
It’s not all about the room temperature; it’s about your body temperature, too. Stay hydrated with cold drinks, wear clothes made of light, breathable fabrics, take cooler showers, and put a cold compress on areas like your neck and wrists to help cool down the rest of your body.
Change your bedding
We all love to snuggle up with a soft fleece blanket, but adjusting your bedding during the summer can help keep you cool and get better sleep. Consider natural fabrics, which are much more breathable and wick moisture away from your body. Look for cotton or cotton blends, including percale, sateen, and jersey. Silk sheets regulate temperature well and feel great on the skin, but often come with a high price tag. Linen breathes well and has a natural cooling effect, but can wrinkle very easily.
Use the grill as much as possible to avoid the extra heat of cooking in the kitchen. If you do have to cook inside, cover pots to minimize the heat they let into the room, use a range hood or microwave vent to vent the hot air outside, and check your food in the oven by turning on the light and looking inside, rather than opening the door and letting the heat out.
Unplug and turn off electronics
Electronics like televisions and computers emit heat even when they’re turned off. Unplug all electronics when they’re not in use.
Do chores when it’s dark out
An excuse to put off chores? Don’t mind if I do! Just like the electronics mentioned above, appliances like dishwashers, washers and dryers also emit heat while in use. If you have to use them, avoid doing so in the middle of the day, which will only make the house even hotter.
Set your ceiling fans to counter-clockwise
Many people don’t realize that ceilings fans should be set to change directions with the changing seasons. In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. This creates a wind chill effect, which makes you feel cooler. Homeowners who use ceiling fans during the summer can save as much as 40 percent on air conditioning bills, according to DelMar Fans.
Plant shade trees on the south and west sides of the house to prevent the sunlight from entering (and heating) the house.
DIY air conditioning
Make a DIY air conditioner by placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist. You can also create a cross-breeze by opening windows on opposite sides of the room or house. If there isn’t much of a breeze, set up some fans to get the air moving.
We all know that heat rises, so stay on the lower floors of the house as much as possible to take advantage of the cooler air.
We hope that these tips can help you keep your house cool as we continue to enjoy this beautiful summer weather!