Are you looking for ways to keep your house cool without spending too much?
In the hot summer months, the afternoon sun can raise temperatures to oppressive energy-sapping degrees. You’ll want to escape the heat. But if it follows you home, it can quickly become overbearing and suffocating. Pretty soon, you’re willing to pay an arm and a leg to get some relief.
Coincidentally, an arm and a leg is often what last-minute desperate solutions end up costing.
Instead, another option is to do a tiny bit of preparation armed with the tips and advice that will help you keep your home cool and not cost you much in the process.
Beyond the obvious checklist: windows well sealed, curtains drawn, well-insulated walls and doors, we’ll look into some less intuitive solutions and tips for keeping your home cool.
Remember, your home may be well-insulated, but your home also includes the garage. A poorly insulated garage will render these otherwise game-changing tips far less effective. And usually, the fault in the garage is not with the insulation but with the door. Even though there are standard garage door sizes, they still might need special attention to effectively insulate the space.
Keep the cool air in, and keep the hot air out. Sounds simple enough. And with a little know-how, it actually is.
5 Ways to Keep Your House Cool:
1. Start with the Floor
When it comes to keeping cool, best work from the bottom up. The reason for this is multiple.
- Have a relatively large surface area
- Are in regular, if not constant, contact with the floor
- Have special blood vessels ideal for regulating our body temperature
Therefore, along with your hands, your feet play a large part in how you perceive your environment. Since your feet are in near-constant contact with the floor, address what type of surface they are in contact with.
Tile floors are the best at repelling heat. That’s why the bathroom is usually the coolest room in the house. Carpets retain heat — the thicker, the higher the heat retention.
Natural stone, slate and hardwood are all very good surfaces for repelling heat and providing a cool sensation at the touch. Whatever type of surface you have, you can maximize its cooling properties with simple fanning techniques.
2. Fan Effectively and Efficiently
Hot air rises. And you want your fan to be blowing cooler air. That air is going to be much closer to floor level.
Set your fan on the floor; aim it up. Make sure it is unobstructed and positioned in a way so that the air can travel across the room.
Even though the air closest to the floor is the coolest, it may not be cool enough. You could place a bowl of ice or ice water in front of the fan so that the air starts its journey by passing over the cold surface then continues through the room at a cooler temperature.
3. Get Some Plants
When a plant draws water through its stem and leaves, close to 99% of that water leaves the plant through pores in a process known as transpiration. The water cools the plant off then evaporates, cooling off the room it’s in.
While all plants create this cooling effect, some are better at it than others:
- Areca palm trees – one of the more popular floor plants and for good reason. Not only do they serve at keeping the room cool, they also act as a sort of air purifier, filtering out formaldehyde and other common pollutants.
- Aloe vera – though relatively small in size, the large surface area of its leaves make this plant an efficient room cooler.
- Snake plants – also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or Saint George’s sword possess large leaves with high water content.
Regardless of what plants you choose, they will not only beautify your space, but they will help keep it cool, too.
4. Don’t Add More Heat – Turn Off Unused Appliances
Electrical devices — even small ones like cell phones or clock radios — emit a surprising amount of heat. When they are left on, the heat emission they produce takes on cumulative proportions.
Not only do the devices themselves give off heat, but the electrical wires in your walls that are supplying them with power also give off heat as they conduct electricity.
Keeping, not only, overhead lights off when they’re not being used but also devices large and small will go a long long way to reducing the heat in a room. The hot summer sun is already doing more than enough to keep the temperature uncomfortably high. It doesn’t need any contribution from us.
5. Switch to Low Heat Emitting Light Bulbs
While keeping some or all of the curtains drawn will help keep sunlight from heating up the home. But that does us no good if we create heat with artificial lights.
Light bulb choices have come a long way over the years. Incandescent light bulbs are a thing of the past. However, many of us don’t seem to have gotten the memo.
Today, light bulbs are made from LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes). They are not only energy efficient, but they emit far less heat than their incandescent predecessors. If you haven’t made the switch yet, you’ll want to before the summer swelter is upon us.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Keep Your House Cool
By starting with the materials in your home then paying mind to the furnishings, you can make great strides toward a cooler, more comfortable home.
Before shelling out a cool sum, which could leave you hot under the collar, implement these simple low-cost high-reward solutions.
If all else fails (which it won’t) remember: ‘cool’ is a state of mind. So, as you’re strutting across the room over carpet-free hardwood floors with a fan blowing ice-cooled air at you, tell the myriad of hard-working house plants you’ve collected how cool you are. And whether they confirm your statement or not, you’ll be so cool that you’ll know it’s true.