No matter where you reside across the country, we have all been advised to stay inside as much as possible. This all started in the spring, when the days were shorter and the temperatures were milder. But with summer now here, things are starting to heat up. If you don't have some form of air conditioning, then being indoors can be brutal.
Instead of spending the summer melting away, we wanted to share a few easy ways to keep your home cool. Here are some tricks from experts designed to keep you comfortable inside.
Use Ceiling Fans Wisely
Your ceiling fans are a great way to help you beat the heat this summer, but only if you use them in the right way. During warmer months your fans need to spin counterclockwise. This direction makes sure the hotter air is forced upwards, which makes the space feel cooler. Don't expect your fan to cool the room though, instead they circulate the air. This helps give the feeling of cooler temperatures. Just ensure to turn off fans in rooms that are not occupied so that you save on your energy bill. There is a switch on almost every ceiling fan located near the base that will change the direction of the blades.
Go for Better Bulbs
When it comes to beating the heat, not having your lights on in the first place is always the best policy, but that's only sustainable for so long. When you eventually turn them on, it's important to use the correct bulbs.
Swap out your old incandescent lights with new energy-efficient ones. Your indoor lighting can account for up to 12% of your energy costs, and the old school incandescent bulbs can give off 90% of their energy through heat. This warms up rooms more than people account for. It is recommended to replace with compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs. Compact fluorescent uses 75% less energy while lasting 10 times longer, and LED bulbs use 80% less and last 25 times longer. You will spend more upfront on the bulbs but end up saving substantially more over the life of the light, all while creating a cooler house.
The Right Curtains can keep the Heat Out
Another way to stay cool inside? Keep the heat from getting in.
Rooms that face south and west are the most difficult to keep cool. You'll want to invest in blackout curtains, which are thick, dark curtains with a back area that is white and reflective. These are best to keep those rooms facing the sun from getting over-heated. You may even want to consider an awning as they're an effective way to resist the heat.
Take it Easy on those Appliances
Even though you may want to take advantage of longer days by getting ahead of your chores list, you shouldn't over-do it. Constantly running your dryer, dishwasher, and oven throughout the day will create a lot of additional heat in your home. Try to only utilize these appliances when you absolutely need to. It's best to run them late at night, when the temps are already lower and consider air drying your clothes on especially hot days.