How To Keep Your House Cool Without Running the AC Nonstop
When West Houston temperatures begin to rise in the summer, it can be impossible to find relief from the heat. Having air conditioning definitely helps, but the only problem is it can get expensive to run your AC nonstop. Here we offer tips to keep your home cool in the heat of summer, without having to depend completely on your AC.
Start from the Top Down
Your attic is exposed to the heat of the sun, especially if you don’t have any shade-providing trees in sight. As a result, it can get as much as 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the floors below. Unfortunately, as your attic continues to hold onto that hot air, it inevitably will begin to heat the whole house. You can use the following steps to reduce heat in your attic:
- Install Roof Attic Fans: There are several options available including gable fans, roof-mounted fans and even smart attic fans that adapt their speed to accommodate heat levels.
- Insulate Your Attic: Check your attic insulation and look for ways to prevent the hot air from entering the floors below. You might need to add insulation across the attic floor as well as the walls to keep your home cooler.
By keeping your attic cooler, you can keep the entire home more comfortable.
Keep Your Second Floor Cooler
Once you tackle the attic, you can improve your home comfort levels by making these changes to the second/upper floors of your home:
- Use Fans: There are a few different fans you can add to the rooms on the upper floors. The first are box fans designed for the window. They can be placed outwards, so they remove the warm air from the room. Energy Star ceiling fans can be used to provide a constant downward breeze to maintain comfort when set on the counter-clockwise position. In bedrooms, use pedestal fans at the foot or beside your bed to force cooler air across the bed.
- Use Summer Friendly Sheets: Sheets made of natural breathable materials like bamboo and cotton are ideal for summer sleeping. They offer a lighter feel and won’t hold in the heat like satin or polyester.
- Reduce Activity: Keeping fit is important, but when you work out upstairs, you produce more heat. Instead, save the exercising for lower floors.
- Cool Down the Room: An hour before bed, turn off electronics like the TV or laptops to reduce heat production.
- Keep Yourself Cool: Sipping cold water and having an ice pack on your neck can help you feel more comfortable.
- Take Cooler Showers: Consider taking cooler showers to cool down and also reduce heat and humidity produce from hot water.
- Circulate Air: In the evenings, as the temperatures cool a bit if your windows can open from the top, slide them down and run your ceiling fans to bring in the cooler night air. Every morning, close the windows and shut the curtains to keep rooms cooler.
These tips will make it easier to sleep at night.
Main Floor Comfort
On the main floor use these cooling tips:
- Keep Curtains Closed: As mentioned above, keeping blinds drawn and curtains closed helps keep the sun from heating up your rooms.
- Opt for Barbecues: Instead of using the oven, depend on your barbecue when the heat rises. You can also choose foods you can cook on the stovetop or cool sandwiches and salads. Crockpots are also better than stovetop and oven cooking as they don’t produce too much heat.
- Unplug Everything: Get into the habit of unplugging anything not in use from toasters to TVs and fans to lights. They continue to drain electricity which produces heat. Of course make sure you leave the fridge and freezer plugged in!
- Use Bathroom Fans: Exhaust fans in the bathroom can help remove hot air from the space.
- Plant Some Shady Trees or Shrubs: Green trees and shrubs help produce cooling shade, so rooms stay cooler.
- Install Awnings: If you have south-facing windows, consider installing awnings to provide more shade.
- Use Cooler Lightbulbs: No heat lightbulbs such as compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) can help keep your home cooler.
Trying just a few of these tips will keep your living space more comfortable.