Home Efficiency: Keeping Your House Cool As Temperatures Rise

Plenty of people in the United States live without air conditioning during the summer. Sometimes on the hottest summer days, even AC won’t cut it. A hot and miserable home can take the fun right out of your summer. Thankfully, there are plenty of small ways you can help keep your house cool.

Try putting some of these tips to use this summer to help you and your family stay comfortable and cool.

Keep Your Blinds Closed

According to research from The Huffington Post, 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows. This percentage can be even higher if you live in a home with primarily south and west facing windows.

Thankfully, you can reduce the amount of extra heat in your house by utilizing shades and curtains. In fact, regularly closing your blinds can save you up to 7 percent on bills and will even lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. That’s a big difference! If you’re desperate, you could even invest in blackout curtains. Blackout curtains block sunlight and naturally insulate the rooms in which they are installed. In short, a simple action such as closing the curtains during the day can help keep you cool and will even save you money in the long run.

Change Out Your Bedding

Changing your bedding is a great way to freshen up a room. But more importantly, swapping out your sheets is a good way to keep cool. Flannel sheets and fleece blankets are wonderfully cozy in the winter but can make you feel hot and sticky during warmer months. Cotton sheets are a smarter choice at this time of the year as they breathe easier and stay cool longer.

You could also consider purchasing a buckwheat pillow. Buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them, which means they don’t hold onto your body heat like conventional pillows.

Rotate Your Fan Setting

Most people are shocked to hear this, but your ceiling fan actually has a bi-directional setting that needs to be adjusted seasonally. Generally speaking, you want your fan to run counter-clockwise at higher speeds in the summer to move breezes around, and clockwise at lower speeds to help distribute heat in the winter.

If you’re not sure which setting your fan is on, stand directly underneath it. If you immediately feel a breeze from the fan, then it’s on the appropriate summer setting (counterclockwise). Otherwise, turn off the fan, and look for a button or switch that sets the fan to run in the opposite direction.

Plant Shade Outside Your Home

Obviously, a large shade tree won’t grow overnight. But with a little bit of planning and landscaping, you can get great results that will make the outside of your home look great and also make your interior cooler. A shade tree in full bloom can actually block more than 70 percent of solar radiation from entering your home according to research by Common Sense Homesteading.

Find plants and trees that will flourish in your soil and a particular location and get them planted in front of your bigger windows. Over time, you’ll create a flourishing shade border that helps keep your house cool from the sun’s glares.

Limit Indoor Cooking

Using an oven or a stove will definitely make your house hotter. If it’s 100 degrees outside, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven. Thankfully, summertime is the perfect time for grilling outdoors. Bust out the grill and the summer patio furniture in order to help cool down the house.

If you must cook in the oven, be careful about how long you let the oven preheat for.  Try to do as much prep work as possible before turning on the heat. Remember also to keep the oven door closed as an open oven door will release heat into the kitchen, lower the oven temperature, and prolong cooking time.

Ask Your Local Agent

Don’t let extreme heat ruin your summer fun. If you have any further questions regarding home efficiency or housing in general, reach out to experienced agent, Kim Clark. With years of experience, Kim is a knowledgeable source for anyone living in or near Kosciusko County. Give her a call today and get all your questions answered.