When outdoor temperatures are at their highest, your first impulse may be to use your air conditioning unit to create a cool and comfortable home environment. While this impulse is certainly understandable, using your cooling system isn’t always the best option, or even an option at all. You may be forced to wait for your central air unit to be serviced, the power could be out, or you could be trying to save enough money to buy a window unit for your home. You might simply choose to use your cooling system as seldom as you can in order to conserve energy and maximize your budget. The following are several creative ways to keep your home (and the people who live in it) cool.
Block Out Natural Light and Heat
You may enjoy the visual effect of bright sunlight streaming in through your windows, but that light will make your residence warmer than it needs to be. During the warmest months, try blocking the sunlight out by keeping your blinds closed. You can also buy special curtains designed to insulate your home from extreme temperatures.
Use Your Windows Strategically
In the same way that blocking out sunlight in the daytime can be useful, opening windows at night is also a way to cool your home’s interior. If your abode has more than one level, you can start by opening the windows located on the upper level. Doing this in the early evening will release the hot air that has risen to the top of your home. By the time the sun goes down, you might open all of your windows to allow cool air to permeate your dwelling.
Remember the Exterior of Your Home
Don’t forget to prevent heat from penetrating the exterior of your home. You might consider painting your home (or at least the roof) a light shade, such as white, a light neutral shade or a pale yellow. This will help to reflect sunlight off of your home. Investing in some exterior window shutters could also be a way to insulate your dwelling from excess heat. If you plan the landscaping outside your home in the right way, you can utilize the shade from trees and shrubs to keep your house as cool as possible.
Limit Your Use of Household Appliances
Your place of residence can quickly become warm when you are operating a variety of appliances. If you’re trying to keep your home cool naturally, you might need to limit your use of any gadget that produces heat. That means reducing your use of items such as the oven, stovetop, electric dishwasher, and electronics (such as your television, stereo, and computer). One way to minimize the heat from appliances is to run only one appliance at a time. Even artificial light can radiate heat, so be sure to turn the lights off in any room that is unoccupied.
Use Fans and Ice
Using electric fans can help you to keep your dwelling cooler than you might think. If you have ceiling fans, you can run them instead of turning on a central cooling unit. You might also try a method that many people seem to appreciate: fill a large bowl with ice cubes, position the bowl in front of a table fan or window fan, and allow the fan to blow air above the bowl of ice. You might be surprised at how effective this method is!
Running an air conditioning unit or central cooling system is not the only way to keep the air cool in your abode. By implementing several creative cooling strategies, you can keep cool and also keep your energy bills low. You may find that you don’t need your air conditioning unit this summer nearly as much as you thought.