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Keeping Cool

fan sitting in front of window

Summer is here and with all the benefits of getting outdoors in this great weather, the summer also brings heat. Here are 9 ways to keep cool in the summer if you don’t have an AC or want to decrease your AC use. We rated each with a pricing indicator $ = free! To $$ = a worthwhile investment.

    1. Open your windows at night. $ Take advantage of this free solution ASAP. Temperatures drop during the night, up to 20°F difference from midafternoon to middle of the night. Take advantage of the cooldown and open your windows to promote a cross breeze. This concept is known as night cooling or night flushing.

    2. Insulate your home. $$ Insulation is essential to keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Cape-style homes and homes with varying ceiling height tend to overheat in the summer.  An energy assessment can help identify where you may need to insulate. There are financial incentives available for insulation!  If you aren’t sure how well your house is insulated or have questions about insulation and getting a home energy assessment sign up to speak with our personal energy coach for FREE. Bob is available to answer any questions you have about your specific home and what you can do to decrease your energy bills. 

    3. Close your curtains. $ Make use of your curtains and blinds during the sunniest hours of the day. Covering your windows during peak sun hours will help keep the air cooler inside. 

    4. Use your fans most effectively. $ Fans move air, rather than cool the air. Blowing air directly on people achieves a cooling effect. Alternatively or in addition, you could set up your fans to draw in cooler air from the outside (or a cooler part of the house) to the warmer areas.

    5. Use your exhaust fans. $ Exhaust fans in your kitchens and bathrooms capture hot air before it mingles with your house air and contributes to overheating. Operate your exhaust fans during showers or whenever cooking indoors (this is true all year long!).

    6. Set your ceiling fan to rotate counterclockwise. $ Ceiling fans are an effective way to cool down and move air within your home. During summer months, make sure the fan plads are rotating counterclockwise (as you look up at the fan). A counterclockwise rotation pushes the air straight down to give the greatest cooling effect. 

    7. Install exterior window shading. $ An exterior window shade such as an awning or pergola or treed outside windows on the west side of your home will shield your house for direct sunlight. This has the dual effect of keeping the house cooler as well as providing a great place to sit outside with some sun protection.

    8. Bake and wash at night. $ Large appliances give off a notable amount of heat. Running your large appliances at night when it’s cooler will help keep temperatures inside cool. As an alternative to your dryer, hang your laundry on a line outside. You’ll save money on electricity costs and reduce indoor heat generated from your dyer.

    9. Use your grill. $ If you are making hot food, try making it outdoors during the summer! Grilling outside reduces heat generated from your oven indoors.

These passive cooling techniques can’t cool down the house quite as much as a whole home AC (also known as central AC), a heat pump system, or a few well-placed ENERGY STAR rated window units, but they will make your house more comfortable. Even if you have efficient cooling equipment you can save by using passive cooling techniques. They can lower the temperature of your home so that if you do turn on the AC, you need less of it—and you waste less energy.

Wish you could talk to someone in greater detail about your home energy needs?

Schedule a FREE consultation with our Personal Energy Coach, Bob! 

Bob is available to answer any questions you have about your specific home and what you can do to decrease your energy bills.