As our summers seem to get hotter and hotter, keeping your house cool can take some new techniques, especially if you are trying to avoid the costs of running an air conditioner. You have lots of options to cool things down, from simple window dressings to investing in a lighter external cladding system.
Regular fans are fine but they can be awkward to place and usually don’t cool an entire room. On the other hand, a ceiling fan stays out of your way and can create a gentle breeze that cools the entire space. They are particularly helpful at night and they can make a huge difference when trying to cool bedrooms for sleeping.
Another benefit is that they tend to operate more slowly than free-standing fans, so you don’t get that gale-force effect. It’s a more pleasant way to get air moving.
Curtains or Blinds
Though it can feel a little stifling to have windows covered up during hot weather, leaving them all open will just let hot sunshine stream in through the day. Light-blocking curtains or blinds can shade a room enough to keep it down several degrees.
Just remember that the sun moves through the day, so you might need to adjust which curtains are closed or open depending on what time it is. If there is no one home during the day to adjust with the sun, just leave everything closed up until you get home.
Of course, if a breeze is blowing or a certain side of the house is in cooler shade, you will want to open things up a little.
Ditch the Old Lights
Are you still using the old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs in your house? Compared to modern CFLs or LEDs, they put out a ton of heat. With a few lamps or lights in a room, that’s added warmth you don’t need.
People use incandescent bulbs to heat fish and reptile tanks for a reason, they really do heat up. On average, each bulb loses 90 percent of its energy in heat. So keep them turned off as much as possible, or replace them with cooler LEDs instead. You’ll also save on power usage, which is a nice side bonus.
BBQs aren’t just for parties or picnics; they can move cooking heat outside and let you keep your kitchen cool. It’s just for burgers and hot dogs either. You can use your BBQ to make a lot of different dishes so you won’t get bored.
Alternatively, you can bypass the cooking completely and stick to cooler foods when the temperature gets too high.
This is a bit more expensive, but if you are already considering new siding or cladding, this is the way to go for a cooler house. A house that is covered in a dark color will absorb a significantly higher amount of sunlight than a light colored house. And that will heat up the entire house, no matter what you might be trying to accomplish with curtains or fans.
Having a new layer of siding can also help with insulation to keep the hot air out, as well as keeping the heat inside during the winter, so it can be a year-round bonus.