With temperatures increasing (and staying up there) it's easy to want to run to the thermostat and crank the AC down and surround yourself with a symphony of fans. This shouldn't be your only option when it comes to keeping cool during the hotter months. There is a multitude of ways to beat the heat and save time and money without having to rack up a huge electric bill every month.
So, pour a glass of iced cold tea, sit back and read on how you can keep your home and everyone in it cool and comfortable without having to compromise with an excessive bill.
1. Be mindful of open doors
During the hottest times of the day, closing the doors to unused rooms will help keep cool air where it needs to be. Having doors open with rooms unattended will make it more difficult for your AC unit to cool the entire house when it’s working against the heat of the sun.
At night, however, you'll want to keep all your doors open to get the most out of the cooler temperatures. Letting the air flow around naturally at night will help cool everyone down and cut costs.
2. Keep the Blinds closed
Keeping the blinds closed seems so simple and almost insulting, but up to 30% of all unwanted heatin your home comes in through your windows. Making use of your blinds, shades, and curtains can save you up to 7% on your electricity bill and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees.
Unless you have plans to turn your home into a makeshift greenhouse, keeping your blinds and curtains closed are instrumental in keeping your home cool. Keep this in mind especially for south- and west-facing windows.
Blackout curtains block sunlight and naturally insulate the rooms they’re installed in. Not just for use in summer months, during the winter they will also help keep your home warm and the cold out.
3. Change your sheets often
Changing your bed clothes can not only help to freshen up a room's look but it's also a great way to help stay cool. During the winter months, textiles like flannel sheets and fleece throw blankets are excellent for keeping warm; cotton, however, is a smarter choice during the warmer months as it breathes easier and stays cool.
Buckwheat pillows are another way to bring in some décor with function. Buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them. Thanks to this natural air pocket the pillow won’t hold on to your body heat like a normal pillow would.
4. Set ceilings fans to rotate counter-clockwise
You know that little notch on your ceiling fan? You know it changes directions but not sure why; well, it has a purpose. Setting your fan to run counter-clockwiseduring the summer at a high speed will allow the fans air flow to suck up the heat and distribute a cool breeze underneath to keep you and your family cool.
Ceiling fans won’t lower the temperature of the room. Instead, they make you feel cooler due to the air moving over your skin allowing sweat to evaporate and pulling heat away from your body.
A fan rotating at just 2mph will make you feel about 3-degree cooler. Speaking of fans, the exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen can be switched on to pull the heat that has risen to the tops of these rooms.
5. Do your chores at night
Laundry machines and dishwashers put off a lot of heat when they are running, especially simultaneously when you’re trying to get everything done quickly. With the washer running hot water, the dryer expelling heat at a high degree and the dishwasher going through a “quick dry” cycle, your home is bound to heat up during peak hours.
Eliminate unnecessary heat by splitting or rotating your chores to the evening/night when temperatures are cooler. It’s not ideal staying up until the early hours of the morning doing laundry but doing a few loads periodically or when loads start to really pile up will help keep you happy and cool.
6. Change AC filter regularly
The air filter for your AC unit should be changed every 4-6 weeks, if not a few times more during the months of heavy use. A dirty filter not only reduces the quality of the air but can also affect efficiency and air flow.