Beating the heat during the summer months can take a lot of energy; not just from you, but from your home as well. What do you do when the humid summer weather makes for sleepless nights, antsy children and everyone hogging the one rotating fan? It’s a tough couple of months that can take a toll on you physically, as well as a toll on your home’s electric bill. But don’t fret. Here are some easy tips and tricks to keep your home cool and refreshing throughout the season; and best of all, keep your electricity bill a little lower.
Start at the Windows
Many people don’t realize how their windows can affect the cooling of their home. While the sun shining through your home makes for great lighting, the sun shining through your family room, living room and bedroom is also an easy way to up the temperature inside. As a contractor, I know triple-pane windows can help regulate your home’s temperature, but if you’re not looking to renovate just yet, an easy tactic is closing the blinds or curtains during the day. This can help keep the beams of the sun out, and this means a cooler inside when you come home from work. Reverse this trick after the sun sets by opening up your windows and letting the refreshing night air in. This keeps the house cool, and during the night, cools down your house for when you wake up in the morning.
Sleep On It
One of the worst parts of the heat is how it can stop you from getting a good night sleep. All that tossing and turning means you’re not rested when you wake up the next morning. First, remove the flannel or polyester from the bed and opt for a natural fibre like cotton; this will be much cooler. Also, remove the duvet for a similar-fabric top sheet — too many layers can create unnecessary insulation. If you’re really looking for relief, fill a hot water bottle and freeze it before bed. You can use the makeshift ice pack to cool down your pulse points. Partner this with a cool shower before bed, or a (small) glass of water to stay hydrated before hitting the hay, and you should be nodding off in no time.
Maximize Your Fans
We’re no stranger to strategically-placed fans to keep air rotating in the room and home. Pro-tips include: using a fan near an open window to create a cross-breeze that hits the bed or couch perfectly, or even keeping the bathroom fans on, sucking up additional hot air; much like with steam after a shower.
Take It Outside
While you might want to stay indoors during very hot weather, there are ways to stop the heat from getting in by modifying the outside. Think about shrubbery or planters near the window’s edge to block too much sun from getting in; consider even vines along the window to limit the sunbeams. The right greenery can up the visual edge of your home, while at the same time, provide a practical purpose. Also, awnings or a facade can reduce heating by up to 75%, while again, adding visual flair to your home’s exterior, and always-desired curb appeal.
Fire Up the BBQ
The stove in your home is no doubt going to create more heat in your already sweltering space. Grilling outside will ensure you avoid heating up your house more so; plus, barbeque season is too short. Soak up the chance to enjoy a medium-rare, charbroiled steak while you can.
Invest in the Option Too Hot to Ignore
If the temperature in your home isn’t just a summertime issue, but you notice lost heat during the winter — and overall poor regulated temperature throughout the year — then it might be a sign of much-needed roof, or home repair. Heat protection is an easy feature to provide, and it’s an investment that might save you money over time. Of course, this option isn’t as affordable as running out and getting a second standing fan, but it might be the best option, the renovation will only add curb appeal, resale value and better insulation to your home.
What are some other tips you use to keep cool from June to September? How do you embrace the hotter months while at the same time keep cool?