It’s that time of year again. Temperatures rise and electricity bills rise with them as we all try to keep our homes cool and comfortable. But what if I were to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way? That there are other ways of keeping your home cool that yes, do require some initial investment on your part, but will make all the difference when those A/C bills come in.
Close Your Curtains!
Closing your curtains or blinds may seem counterintuitive on a stiflingly hot day but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that the more sunlight you let into your home while it’s hot, the hotter your home will get. Closing your drapes – especially if they are lined with a light-colored fabric – will make all the difference.
Like curtains and blinds, shutters also help to reduce heat gain. However, the benefits of shutters don’t stop there! Shutters not only add to the general security of your home, but also protect it from bad weather too.
As I discussed in a previous post, awnings are the unsung heroes of outdoor living. But the truth is that the humble awning is also key to helping to keep indoor living comfortable too! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, installing awnings on south and west-facing windows can reduce solar heat gain by up to 77% in your home!
Open Your Windows!
Opening your windows during the cooler parts of the day, or more precisely when the temperature is cooler outside than inside, is an important part of a natural home cooling strategy. This will help to cool everything off inside the house that’s become hot during the course of the day. Good ventilation is also key to preventing mold and keeping your home smelling fresh. However, don’t forget to install or repair your window screens or you’ll find your home full of lots of unwanted visitors! Additionally, the fine mesh of a window screen also provides another layer of heat protection for your home by defusing solar radiation. This is especially the case on your east and west-facing windows.
Lastly, the most important part of this cooling equation is you. Be sure to drink plenty of cold drinks and dress in loose clothing made of light, natural fabrics. While you’re at it, why not take the opportunity to move the cooking outside to the grill (preferably under the shade of a beautiful awning)? This will reduce the amount of heat from appliances in your home and give you the perfect excuse to eat lots of grilled food. Because really, who doesn’t like grilled food?