This seems like a weird topic for me because it’s mid-May now and we actually just had hail last week. :O BUT, it is predicted that this summer will be the hottest on record. Last summer was pretty brutal, the humidity was out of control. (Seriously. My crown moulding buckled!) So I want to plan ahead a little and prep for this summer’s heat wave extravaganza. Standing around and complaining about what a scorcher it is might be fun, but it’s not going to make my home any cooler. The tips below, however, are going to do a much better job of that.
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Cut the clutter
You might love having a cozy home full of soft furnishings everywhere, but when the heat starts to settle in, all that softness can be as much of a pain as it is a comfort. During the summer, it’s better to switch out your cozy style for something a more minimalist. Not only is it going to help cool air circulate around the room a lot cooler and stop those soft furnishings from retaining more heat, but it’s also going to make it easier to clean.
You don’t want to spend the hottest days of the year cleaning around the home. Cutting the clutter can reduce the buildup of dust and dirt, making it a much quicker job. Who doesn’t want that?!
Be a fan of fans
Fans might not seem as effective as air conditioning systems that run through the entire home, but they can be a lot more useful at the right time. They’re generally a lot more energy efficient, for those who don’t want to send their energy bill rocketing because they have to leave their AC on all day.
They’re also a good option for when you’re primarily hanging out in one room and you don’t need to worry too much about how warm the rest of the home is. In my Canadian neck of the woods, AC isn’t standard practice since we have approximately 1897543 months of winter. The expense of installing an AC system for 8 weeks of use per year is often not realistic. I usually point a fan in my face for July and August instead.
For another cool tip, switch ceiling fans in the home to counterclockwise, which helps them push cool air down towards the floor.
Swap your sheets
Sick of those sweaty, sticky nights in bed? Yeah I know, it’s unpleasant to think about. However, the bed is one of the oft-neglected areas when it comes to that summer heat and it all comes down to your choice of bedsheets. If you don’t already have them, buy some soft fabric sheets made of cotton or bamboo. Sheets that have moisture wicking features are even better. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, now’s the time to avoid memory foam options. They might be cheaper than most kinds of beds, but most of them have minimal heat correction features meaning they can keep your body temperature even higher when you’re trying to get some sleep.
Be wise about your windows
When your home’s feeling really stuffy, it might be tempting to leave the windows open all day and let some fresh air in. However, that’s also letting the hot air in. This is a lesson I always forget when I’m trying to escape the humidity; opening the windows does NOT help!
Instead, open them in the evenings to air out the home when it has cooled outside. But most of your attention should be on trying to stop the heat from getting into your house in the first place. Closing your blinds throughout the day, especially in rooms you’re not using, can help keep things a lot cooler. The best solution would be to use blackout blinds, which you can check out on this site. A window treatment that’s more effective at keeping out the light is also going to be better at keeping out the heat.
It’s all about insulation
Insulation isn’t just for keeping your home warm in the winter. Its job is to separate the outdoor environment from your home as much as possible, so it works just as well in the summer too. If you haven’t already checked, it’s wise to check and make sure that your home has insulation and to make sure that it hasn’t been damaged by moisture or some other issue.
We managed to tap into a local energy efficiency program and they came and checked out all our insulation. They actually discovered that our attic wasn’t well insulated and they added more insulation to it at no charge! Major win!
Even if your home is well insulated, you can still improve it. Window insulation film works a lot like blackout blinds, stopping the heat from the sun from penetrating, but it doesn’t reduce the lovely natural light in the home by much, so it might be even better.
Check your entrances
Windows and doors are a common culprit when it comes to the question of why it’s so warm in your home. Simply put, if they’re old, there’s a good chance that they’re not very energy efficient. Learn more about this website to see some windows and doors that are more effective at helping regulate your home’s temperature. If you have newer windows, take a close look at them to make sure they haven’t warped and created air gaps. You can seal up the gaps with some caulking.
Your roof can be a problem in the summer too. Warm air rises and escapes out of the home in the winter. However, in the summer, that warmth will seek any gap it can to spread the heat to cooler spaces and your roof can be just as guilty of letting that happen. First of all, once again, check that you’re thoroughly insulated and that your insulation is in good condition. If your attic is feeling overly stuffy, it might be worth hiring a roof repair professional to take a look at the exterior and see if there are any cracks, chips, or missing shingles causing an issue.
Check on your AC
All of the tips here are designed to make it much easier to cool your home so you shouldn’t have to rely on your air conditioning unit quite as often. However, when you really need it, you want to make sure it’s working as best as possible. Check this website to see some of the common issues that can plague your AC and whether or not it needs a servicing. If it’s too old, it might be time to start thinking about a replacement. The worse your AC works, the harder it has to try to cool the house. This means it takes longer to reach the temperature you need, as well as increasing how much money you’re spending on it.
Examine those Electrics
All of the electrical appliances in your home generate heat as well as using up your energy. For the big appliances, checking to see that they’re in good condition can ensure they’re not using more energy and heating up more than they need to. However, one of the worst energy habits that makes the home a lot warmer is keeping appliances on when you’re not using them. Even if they’re in standby, they’re still using power and generating heat. Similarly, you should look at your lightbulbs and consider switching out to things like LEDs. Regular CFL bulbs produce more heat when they’re turned on. Every little thing helps!
If you’re not a fan of the idea of keeping the blinds closed all the time and you need a solution to keep you cool, then how about styling them with some bright, gorgeous foliage? Greenery is fantastic for stopping heat, whether it’s tall bushes and trees in the garden or planters for your window. Not only do you get a cooling technique that doesn’t diminish the natural light that can make your home look much brighter, but you can get really creative with your plant choices and really have some fun with it!
If you have the outdoor space and a BBQ, why not make a little more use of it during the summer? Needless to say, cooking on a range generates a ton of heat and it can be hard to cool the kitchen down again until the evening. Cooking outdoors gets rid of that problem entirely. You don’t necessarily need to eat outdoors, but if you have a nice patio area, it can certainly be a way to get more enjoyment out of the heat rather than constantly thinking about just how to beat it.
There you have it, eleven excellent tips that can help you not only make the home cooler this summer, but some that will help you keep it warmer in the winter and save on your energy bills, too! Win!