On the hottest days of the year, it can feel like your AC is struggling to get to the temperature you want. But you also don’t want to crank your AC to arctic temperatures. This can mean a higher electricity bill or, in the worst cases, an overworked AC unit that needs repairs.
Instead, you need to find a solution that will keep your house cool without overworking your AC unit. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to make your house a bearable temperature. Here are 21 ways to keep your house cold without spiking your energy bill during the summer.
Heat comes through unseen cracks and crevices throughout your house, which can also cause cold air to leak out. Keeping your house properly insulated will help trap the cool air you need to stay comfortable.
Insulate Your Attic
Everyone knows that heat rises. But in a home, this means the attic will be the hottest spot in the house. Not to mention, it will get even hotter if you don’t insulate it from top to bottom. Good insulation will keep hot air from getting trapped in your attic and limit the heat from going to the rest of your home.
Fill Holes in Window and Door Frames
Old windows and door frames are bound to have a few cracks at the seams. Caulking or weather stripping these will help make your windows and doors airtight. It’s especially a viable option if you can’t afford energy-efficient windows.
Lay Down Some Rugs
Area rugs are an under-utilized method for insulating your house. A rug’s thick layer of fabric on the floor will not only help heat stay out in the summer, but it will trap heat in the winter, making them a worthy investment for year-round comfort.
Get a New Roof
While most people may not be in a position to get a new roof, it can be a game-changer for your indoor temperature. New roofing shingles will do a better job of reflecting the sun’s energy rather than just absorbing it.
Good shade blocks the sun’s rays, which makes the area it covers feel 10 to 15 degrees cooler. If you want to keep your home cooler, taking steps to block the sun is a logical next step.
Keep Your Blinds Closed
If you have blinds or shutters, you should keep them closed while the sun’s out. This is especially true for your west-facing windows, which get exposed to a lot of sunlight during the summertime. Otherwise, the sun will shine through your window and get trapped in your home, turning your living space into an oven.
Invest in Blackout Shades
If you don’t have blinds in your home, blackout curtains can be the next best thing, or maybe even a little better. These curtains are designed with a white plastic backing to reflect sunlight and a thick fabric front to block any light from getting into your house. If you’re serious about it, you can install blackout curtains over your blinds for maximum sun blockage.
Plant Shade Trees
While planting trees is a long-term investment, it’s also a long-term solution. When strategically placed around your home, trees can offer ample shade around your windows. Not to mention, it adds some extra beauty and color around your home.
Some areas of the house are just warmer than others. It might be because they have a lot of west-facing windows or the heat just tends to settle in there. Fortunately, keeping a good airflow throughout your home can keep the temperature cool in any room.
Optimize Your Ceiling Fan
Yes, your ceiling fans actually need to be adjusted seasonally. Every ceiling fan has two settings: clockwise and counterclockwise rotation. The clockwise setting will suck cold air up, which will displace the warmer air that sits close to the ceiling. A counterclockwise setting will send strong gusts of cold air towards the ground. So in the summer, make sure your fan is set to counterclockwise and is on the highest setting.
Keep Inside Doors Open
You’ll want air to be able to move freely throughout your home. Otherwise, hot air will easily trap itself behind closed doors. Especially at night time, keep your doors open so every room has proper ventilation.
Turn the Furnace Fan On
Furnaces use a fan to redistribute heat throughout the house. While that may seem like useless information for keeping the house cold, that fan will come in handy. Most furnaces have a setting to let the fan run without the furnace heat. This way, you can redistribute the cold air from the basement or other areas to the hotter areas of the house.
Let the Night Air In
Many climates, especially desert climates like Utah, will see a significant temperature drop at night. In these situations, you should open the windows to let in all of the cold air. You can also place fans in front of the windows to suck in the cold a little faster.
Most things that require electricity or gas energy will give off some heat. So, you should strategize when and where you do certain chores.
Run Your Dishwasher at Night
Dishwashers give off a lot of heat as they wash and dry your dishes. Running your dishes at night will lessen the impact of the heating effect. If you have a dishwasher that can start on a timer, you can load your dishes before you go to bed and wake up to clean ones.
Cooking on your kitchen’s stove or using the oven will seriously heat up your house. To easily avoid this, start cooking your food on an outdoor grill. This will keep all the heat outside your house while giving you some fresh air in the process.
Turn the Lights Off
Especially if you have incandescent light bulbs, keeping the lights on will produce a lot of heat. Turn lights off in rooms you’re not using or rooms that get a lot of natural light from windows or skylights.
Switch to LED Lightbulbs
If you can’t stand living in a dimly lit environment, switch out your incandescent bulbs for LEDs. These lightbulbs spend the majority of their energy producing light rather than heat, so you won’t risk warming up your house by leaving a lamp on all day.
Dry Clothes on a Clothesline
Even on low heat settings, dryers will pump out a lot of heat into your laundry room. Instead, you can use the surrounding heat to your advantage and lay out your clothes to dry on a clothesline or drying rack.
Unplug the Devices You Aren’t Using
Electronics that are plugged in can generate a good amount of heat, even when they aren’t in use. So if you aren’t using a device, whether a keyboard or toaster, unplug it.
Your Personal Temperature
While it’s important to focus on your home’s temperature, the most important temperature to track is your own. Just like how you bury yourself in a mountain of blankets in the winter, there are ways you can adapt to the heat.
Sleep in the Basement
The top floors of the house will always be warmer than the bottom floors, which can make falling asleep pretty hard. On particularly hot nights, don’t hesitate to bring a mattress down to the basement or ground floor or even just crash on your couch.
Get Cotton Sheets
Thermal or flannel sheets can be great to keep you warm in the winter, but they can be a hot, itchy nightmare in the summer. Swap them out for some cotton sheets, which are lighter and more breathable and will keep you cool as you fall asleep.
Take Cold Showers
Not only will cold showers keep your bathroom from heating the house, it will also cool your internal temperature when you’re sweating through the summer. Taking a cold shower before bed can also be a great way to help you fall asleep.
Wear Light, Breezy Clothing
Summer is not the time for jeans and sweaters. Wear something that will make it easy to stay cool in. Ditch the layers and opt for a t-shirt and some shorts.
Get the Most Out of Your AC
Like we said before, these methods aren’t meant to replace an AC unit, but rather they’ll help you get the coldest temperatures in your house without breaking the bank on energy costs.
If you don’t have AC or need a unit to be repaired or replaced, contact Absolute Air today. We’re here to help you live in a cool and comfortable home.