How can I keep cool during hot summer months?

1. Keep your blinds closed. 
30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows.  Utilizing shades and curtains can 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.

2. Be smart about your doors. 
Closing off rooms will prevent the cool air from permeating these areas during the hottest part of the day. During the cooler evening hours, you can capitalize on lower temperatures by letting air flow naturally through your home.

3. Hack your fan. 
Your air conditioner can’t give off a sea breeze... but this simple trick can. Fill a mixing bowl with ice and position it at an angle in front of a large fan, so that the air whips off the ice feeling extra chilly and extra misty.

4. 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 wind-chill breeze effect that will make you and your guests feel cooler.

5. Turn on your bathroom fans. 
...or the exhaust fan in your kitchen, for that matter. Both of these pull the hot air that rises after you cook or take a steamy shower out of your home.

6. Ditch the incandescent lights. 
If you ever needed motivation to make the switch to 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.

7. Start grilling. 
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 grill?

8.  Keep it clean.
While your AC system is cranking away, the filter is getting more use than normal.  By changing the air filter every month or so during the highest use months allows air to flow easily through your HVAC system, making it run more efficiently and saving energy.

9.  Unplug.
Everything you plug into a socket produces heat. Unplug all unnecessary appliances or electronics when not in use. Even those little red glowing lights that stare at you in the middle of the night indicating the item is turned off drain energy and produce heat. Turning something off is not enough – unplug.

10. Make a few long-term improvements. 
If you’re really, really committed to the whole no-AC thing, you can make a couple changes to your home that will keep it cooler for seasons to come. Insulated window films, for example, are a smart purchase as they work similarly to blinds. And additions like awning and planted trees or vines on or in front of light-facing windows will shield your home from the sun’s rays, reduce the amount of heat your home absorbs and make your investment nothing but worthwhile.

 

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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