It’s summertime! Warmer weather means it’s time for pool parties, beach trips, camping, and lounging around on hot days. But it also means having a warmer house than you’d probably prefer. Keeping your home cool on a budget can be a challenge. On a very hot day, it’s tempting to turn your air conditioner up to the highest setting on the lowest temperature But before you go cracking up the AC, here are 10 ways to stay cool without it!
Planting trees is what we’re all about at tentree. We plant 10 trees for each item purchased! While we may be busy in places like Madagascar, Nepal, Senegal, and Haiti, planting trees at home where you live can help keep your home, and your community, cooler. Trees don’t just provide shade, but they also act as an outdoor air conditioner by slowly evaporating water from their leaves, removing heat from the surrounding air. 1 mature tree can have the cooling effects of 10 air conditioners running 20 hours a day!
Replace your incandescent light bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs are the most common type of electric light, but 90% of the energy used to produce this light is emitted as heat. Each bulb is like a small furnace beaming you with heat, and their surface temperature can reach up to 250 degrees.The average LED bulb has a surface temperature of around 100 degrees, so switching to an energy-efficient LED can reduce heat from lighting. It saves money on your electric bill too!
Invest in blackout curtains
Closing your blinds during the day can definitely help block out summer heat, but blackout curtains are a level up from blinds. Using neutral-colored curtains with a white backing can reduce heat gain from windows by approximately a third according to Consumer Reports.
Close up during the day
It goes without saying that it’s much cooler at night than it is during the day. If it’s safe to do so, leave a few windows open overnight to allow cool, night time air to enter the home. When you wake up in the morning, close your windows and blinds to keep that cooler air trapped inside for as long as possible.
Use cooler bedding
Being too hot when you’re trying to sleep can definitely keep you up later than you’d prefer. Bedding made of fleece and flannel are great in the winter, as they are insulative and help keep you warm. Choosing organic cotton sheets for the summer is a great way to stay cool, as cotton is more breathable. Choosing buckwheat pillows during the summer helps too, as buckwheat hulls have more air between them and won’t trap your body heat like a normal pillow.
Try the ice fan trick
You’ve probably seen it, but have you tried it? Give it a whirl! All you have to do is fill a bowl with ice and angle a large fan toward the ice so the air passes over and around the ice cubes. It really does work like magic, plus as the ice melts, it adds a bit of humidity to the air which, if you live in a dry climate, can help you feel cooler.
Adjust your ceiling fan for the season
Did you know that you can adjust the direction your ceiling fan spins? Setting your fans to rotate counter-clockwise will create a wind-chill breeze effect which makes you feel like you’re cooler while standing directly beneath the fan. In the winter, reverse it to create a slight updraft, which forms hot hair near the ceiling downward.
Cool yourself, not the house
Before you crank your AC, consider cooling yourself down first. Wear light, breathable clothing, drink a cold beverage, go for a swim, or take a cool or cold shower. Applying a cold cloth to areas like the neck and wrists uses your circulatory system to cool you down, as these areas have large veins. You can try dipping your feet in a bucket of cool water.
Use your bathroom fan
Turning on exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen can help suck hot air and humidity out of your home after a hot shower or cooking dinner. These fans use considerably less energy than air conditioners.
Consider some bigger home improvements
Most of our suggestions are inexpensive, quick fixes to the problem of a sweltering home, but there are some more comprehensive, long-term things you can do to your home to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Insulated, double-pane windows are an excellent choice, and planting trees or adding awnings to your home help reduce the amount of sunlight beaming directly into your home.