Summer has just begun, but temperatures are already rising! Are you ready for a heat wave? Take advantage of these tips to keep it cool at home during these hot summer days.
Shut the shades
While you may be tempted to let the sun shine in on pretty summer days, you’ll keep your home cooler and save on energy costs by keeping the blinds and curtains closed. Nearly 30 percent of the heat inside your home comes from the windows, so you may be surprised at how effective this can be. Don’t want to close them all and sit in the dark? Focus on the west and south facing windows.
Ceiling fans can be used strategically to help keep you cool on warm days. In the summer flip the switch so the blades turn counter-clockwise. This blows a cooling air down onto you. You can also place box fans inside your windows facing out to draw hot air outside the house.
Change the sheets
Be sure to swap those cozy flannel sheets you love in the winter for something a little lighter during the summer. Cotton is the best choice this time of year. Want to take it a step further on those really warm nights? Pop them in the freezer for a few minutes before going to bed. Just be sure to put them in a plastic bag first so they don’t smell like frozen broccoli.
Limit appliance use
Ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryer can generate more heat than you may realize. Wait until evening hours to run heat-generating appliances. If you haven’t already, make the switch to LED lights around your home, as they don’t kick out heat the way incandescent lights do.
Cool body heat
Nothing beats the heat like a nice cold shower, which is especially refreshing right before bed. Sip cool drinks throughout the day to keep your internal temperature low and don’t be afraid to slip an ice pack under the sheets at night.
Plant shade trees
While it’s not immediately helpful, planting shade trees around your home will keep it cool in the long term. Choose varieties that lose their leaves in the winter, so that your home can soak up the sun’s ray during the cold months.
Close off unused rooms
Have a room or two in your home that isn’t regularly used? Shut the vents and close the door to that room. No need to cool it if nobody will be inside it.
Clean A/C filters
Your air conditioner works hard in the summer months. Make it easier for it to get the job done by keeping the vents and ducts clean and changing the filters frequently. Save money on your cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat and turn the temperature up during those times when you’re out of the house. Just remember to keep it cool enough for pets that may be home during that time.
Take it easy
As tempting as it may be to get some home improvement projects completed over the summer months, don’t overdo it. Pay attention to weather reports and plan to take it easy when a heat wave hits. It’s summertime – give yourself permission to slow down, take a break and sip a glass of ice-cold lemonade on the porch.