How to Keep Your House Cool Over Summer
It’s here, the contagious joy of summer: lazy hazy days, river dipping and sea swimming. Early morning sunshine and later light evenings, dining al fresco: well that’s the dream. The reality is that the early morning sunshine wakes you up early, the heat keeps you awake, and you are exhausted, but because it’s summer you can’t express this negativity; besides, you have been waiting for this season since the end of last summer. There are, however, a few simple things that you can do to help keep cool over hot periods.
Close your blinds and curtains
On a beautiful day, you want to open the windows and air the house, but this means you have to stay at home unless you are inviting burglars in, and besides it is not conducive to keeping your house cool, unless there is a stream of air that can flow through your house. Preventing the heat from streaming through the windows can be achieved by using inexpensive white or light-colored blinds or curtains (dark colors absorb the heat and can act as a radiator); even if you just use them on the south facing windows, you will feel the benefit.
Update your lightbulbs
Incandescent and halogen lightbulbs create light through heat, and 90% of this used energy is wasted through heat. By simply swapping to a more environmentally friendly and efficient LED or CFL bulb, and ensuring that lights are switched off when not in use, you can reduce the ambient heat of your home.
Edit your diet
Avoid eating large cooked meals: not only will you reduce the heat produced during the cooking process, but your body releases more heat as it metabolizes heavy meat heavy dishes. By choosing lighter and smaller meals of room-temperature you are helping your body to remain at a comfortable temperature. If you do have to use the cooker for meals, ensure that you use the range hood fan to remove the hot air.
Turn off your devices
When devices are on standby and idle they can produce a lot of heat, rather than spending time turning each device off at the plug you can invest in a surge protector which will allow you to turn off several devices at once. (This is a good habit to get into to avoid housefires).
Use your ceiling fan correctly
How many times have you put the ceiling fan on and feel like there is no benefit? You have more than likely turned the control the wrong way. To get the benefit of the cooling effects of the ceiling fan you must ensure that in summer it works in a counter-clockwise direction: pushing the hot air down (in winter, the clockwise direction will pull the heat up). Remember to turn it off once you leave the room.
Clean your air-conditioning filters
During the heat of the summer months, your air-conditioning unit is working overtime, and the filter is getting more use than it does for the rest of the year put together. By making sure that your filters are clean, you are helping it to run at its optimum efficiency, and helping the air cool more easily.