10 Ways To Keep Your Home Cool During The Summer

Dated: 07/16/2015

Views: 456

Summer has arrived and it’s getting hot.  Many older homes in Colorado do not have central air conditioning units, primarily because our temperatures in the warm months are far more pleasant to deal with due to our “zero humidity”.  While it's tempting to whip out the credit card and install central air or plant yourself in front of the nearest fan, these aren't the only tricks to keeping cool.


It turns out there are plenty of ways to buffer your home from the heat without racking up your electric bill, and they’ll make you feel like a DIY champ!


1. Install effective shade for east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities such as dishwashing until evening on hot days.


2. Use ceiling fans to increase comfort levels at higher thermostat settings. The standard human comfort range for light clothing in the summer is between 72 F and 78 F. To extend the comfort range to 82 F, you need a breeze of about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph.  A slow-turning ceiling-mounted paddle fan can easily provide this air flow.  Don’t forget to 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 in the summer at a higher speed, the fan's airflow will create a wind-chill breeze effect that will make you and your guests "feel" cooler.


3. Plant shade trees around the house. Don’t plant trees on the South if you want to benefit from passive solar heating in the winter.


4. Keep your blinds closed.  As simple as this tip may seem, up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and utilizing shades, curtains and the like can save you up to 7 percent on your bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. In other words, closing the blinds essentially prevents your home from becoming a miniature greenhouse, which is especially the case for south- and west-facing windows.


5. Be smart about your doors.  Closing off rooms will prevent the cool air from permeating these areas during the hottest part of the day. You'll want to capitalize on the cooler night hours, too, letting air flow naturally through your home.


6. Swap your sheets.  Not only does seasonally switching up your bedding freshen up a room, it's a great way to keep cool. While textiles like flannel sheets and fleece blankets are fantastic for insulation, cotton is a smarter move this time of year as it breathes easier and stays cooler.  Consider buying a coupe of buckwheat pillows.  Because buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them, they won't hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows.


7. Focus on the temperature in your body, not the house.  From sipping tasty iced drinks to applying a cold cloth to strong-pulsed areas like your neck and wrists, cooling yourself from the inside out is not a bad idea. Other tricks include being smart about your clothing choices and telling your partner you won't be cuddling until the leaves start changing color.


8. Let the night air in.  During the summer months, temperatures drop during the night. Make the most of these refreshing hours by cracking the windows before you go to bed. You can even create a wind tunnel by strategically setting up your fans to force the perfect cross breeze. Just be sure to close the windows (and the blinds) before things get too hot in the morning.


9. 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.


10. Start grilling.  It's obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: Using your oven or stove in the summer will make your house hotter. If it already feels like 100+ degrees in your home, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven. Besides, who doesn't want to get more mileage out of their outdoor furniture and seasonal accessories?


So Keep Calm and Chill!

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Sheryll White

As a Full Time real estate agent for the past 23 years, Sheryll has helped hundreds of home owners in Colorado buy and sell their homes. Sheryll's easy going, no pressure style and her in depth knowl....

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