Even those who love summer can become frustrated when their home becomes as hot as the outdoors. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to lower the temperature in your house on hot days, either with or without air conditioning.
If you're wondering how to cool your house during summer, you're in the right place. We have a range of simple tips to keep your house cool that can make a significant difference to the temperature in your home, so there's no need to sit around sweating.
While it might be nice to let sunlight into your home, it will heat your house significantly. Instead, you should create shade in your home by closing window coverings, such as curtains and window shades. If you don't want to close all the curtains in your home, you can focus on south-facing windows, as these let in the most direct sunlight, which will make your house feel uncomfortably warm. To block out the most sun possible and keep your house even cooler, try blackout curtains or shades, such as the Real Simple Cordless Blackout Cellular Shade.
Opening your windows on a hot day may let a cool breeze in, but it also warms up your house in a hurry. As such, you should keep your windows closed, except at night or in the early morning when the temperature outside drops.
As the day heats up, any cool air that you've built up in the rooms you're using will be displaced by hot air coming from unused rooms you haven't cooled. You can keep cool air where you want it by closing off any unused rooms. This is as simple as closing the door, but you can also use draft excluders to minimize gradual heat transfer from any gaps beneath doors.
If it's too hot in your house, the obvious choice is to turn your air conditioning on. It might not be your first choice, due to the cost of energy or for environmental reasons. You can, however, decrease your energy consumption by as much as 10% by simply setting your air conditioner two degrees higher than you normally would. If you don't have a central air system, you can buy an air conditioning window unit or a portable air conditioner, such as the GE 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner.
While it isn't the most environmentally friendly option, a fan can feel like a lifesaver on a hot day for those who don't have air conditioning. If you feel like your fan is simply moving hot air around and not making you feel all that much cooler, try placing a bowl of ice or ice water in front of the fan, which cools the air that the fan is blowing. The Seville Classics Gray UltraSlimline Oscillating Tower Fan is effective yet affordable.
Ceiling fans use significantly less power than air conditioners but can make your home feel up to 4 degrees cooler. If you feel like your ceiling fan is just moving hot air around, you might just need to adjust it. Ensure your ceiling fan is set to run counterclockwise, as this creates a cooling effect in the summer.
The last thing you want to do on a hot day is put your oven on full blast and create even more heat in your home. Use countertop appliances instead, as these produce less heat. For baking and broiling, toaster ovens will heat your home less than standard ovens, while microwaves are great for heating foods. Pressure cookers and slow cookers are great for making soups, stews and other dishes you'd cook on the stovetop. You can also choose to cook outside using a grill or an outdoor pizza oven.
Switching on your dryer is a surefire way to make your house feel even hotter. Instead of drying your clothes in a machine, make use of the hot weather outside and hang them out on a clothesline to dry. Not only will this keep your home cooler, but it's also better for the environment.
While incandescent bulbs have mostly been phased out, you might still be using old bulbs. Unlike energy-saving LED light bulbs which run cool, incandescent light bulbs create heat when they're on. Just changing your light bulbs won't make a huge difference to the temperature in your home, but every heat-producing item adds a little extra warmth to your house. Making small changes will have an accumulated impact.
Some days, it's just so hot that nothing seems to make your house feel cooler. In these cases, focus on your own temperature rather than the temperature of the house. There's plenty you can do to make yourself feel cooler. You could use a handheld fan, drink plenty of cold drinks, eat popsicles or wear lightweight clothes made of cotton or other breathable materials.
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Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.