With record temperatures hitting much of North America this summer, homeowners are scrambling to find easy, cost-effective alternatives to running the air conditioning 24/7. Beat the heat and save energy this summer by trying one these cool tips. Pun intended.
Install energy-efficient window treatments
Keeping blinds, shades and draperies closed during hot, sunny days will go a long way to keeping your home’s internal temperature cool. However for maximum energy-efficiency, choose insulating window treatments that will prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from entering. We suggest choosing shades with layered or cellular construction, such as Duette® Honeycomb Shades or Vignette® Modern Roman Shades, which trap air in distinct pockets for increased insulation at the window.
Cool your body
One of the quickest ways to get reprieve from the heat is to rapidly cool your body temperature. For some it’s jumping into a pool or taking an ice cold shower. For the less rugged among us, try simply dunking your feet in cold water or placing a cool towel on your body. These later tips are especially effective if you’re having trouble sleeping on a hot summer night.
Turning on the oven or cooktop can significantly increase the temperature in an already warm home. Keep your house cool by preparing meals that don’t require cooking. Don’t like the idea of eating salad or cold cuts all summer to stay cool? Compromise by grilling outside. Although your body temperature may increase with every hot bite, the internal temperature of your home won’t be effected.
Create a wind tunnel
Air circulation is critical to maintaining a comfortable home environment. Turn on a few fans and keep the internal doors open to allow air to freely move through your home. For maximum effectiveness, place two fans in windows opposite from one another, facing one out and the other in. This technique will encourage warm air to travel out one window and cool air to enter the other. Although you are still using electricity to keep cool, fans don’t require nearly as much energy as an air conditioner to run.
Choose natural fibers
Natural fibers like cotton, bamboo or buckwheat are much better at wicking away heat and moisture from the body than synthetic materials. Stay cool this summer by adding naturally breathable pieces to your wardrobe. Or swap heavy winter bedding for a light cotton blanket, bamboo sheets and a buckwheat pillow.
Turn off the lights
Many lightbulbs give off as much heat as they do light, which means you are unknowingly heating up your home with the flick of a switch. On long summer days, consider keeping the lights off until visibility is too poor to see, or swap your existing bulbs for energy-efficient alternatives that don’t burn as hot. And while you’re at it, unplug any unnecessary appliance and electronics too. These devices produce bursts of heat as well.
What are some of your tips for staying cool on hot summer days?