During these hot summer months, keeping your home cool is a definite must! An air-conditioner has been our go-to method but there other cost-effective and environmentally friendly ways to keep the temperature down without one.

Keep the Sun Out

As much as we love summer sunshine, it unfortunately adds quite a bit of heat to the home. Keep as much sunlight out as possible and let cooler air in at night. Windows, drapes, blinds, and shades should be closed tight during the day to avoid unwanted heat and humidity. Light-colored window treatments do a great job at reflecting light and heat away from the home. At night, open up the windows and ventilate your home naturally or with fans.

Appreciate Your Fans

If the natural breeze coming from your isn’t enough, use fans to whip the air around. Ceiling fans during the day help to increase temperature comfort levels. Even mild air movement at 1 mph can make you feel three or four degrees cooler. At night, consider placing a box fan or window fan in front of a window to blow cooler air in and another directly opposite to blow warm air out. Try placing a bowl of water filled with ice in front of fans for some extra cooling power.

Avoid Extra Heat

Appliances like dishwashers, washers/dryers, and ovens generate additional internal heat within your home that’s best avoided. Be aware of which appliances generate the most heat and do your best to turn them off when not in use. Computers, chargers, and your television also give off heat. When possible, try to delay the use of these appliances until the evening when it’s a bit cooler.

Limit Your Lights

Turn off any lights that are not in use. It may seem like a minor task but it does make a difference! You can also change incandescent bulbs to much cooler fluorescent bulbs or LED bulbs. They produce the same amount of light but use considerably less energy and emit less heat.

Create a Cooler Landscape

Trees, trellises, and shrubbery surrounding your home (especially southern and western windows) can block additional sunlight and provide much-needed shade. When landscaping around your home, be mindful of these natural heat-reducers! If possible, avoid placing cement and asphalt too close to the home as they will absorb and radiate heat even after the sun goes down.