10 Ways to cool your home without using Air Conditioning
Who couldn’t use a lower energy bill? We will focus on keeping hot air out and cool air in. Several of the ideas below that also provide the opposite effect in the winter of keeping the cold out and the heat in.
1. Ceiling Fans: Strategic placement of fans can give incredible results. I’m sure we can all appreciate a ceiling fan on a hot summer day, but did you know that you can use it in the winter also? It is used to push the hot air down from the ceiling (because hot air rises) into the room. During the summer, your blades should turn counter-clockwise, and for the winter they should turn clockwise.
2. Fashionable awnings: Installing awnings over your windows can reduce up to 65% of solar heat from coming into your home. This is a 20° difference!
3. Tinted Windows: Consider using a tinted reflective film for your windows to block the sunlight (for the best results, use with a dark color curtain or “Black-Out” curtains).
4. Painting/Repainting Your Roof: One of the best ways to keep your house cool is to make sure that your roof is reflecting sunlight, rather than absorbing it. Paint it a lighter color or white for best results. The same for the rest of your home: the lighter the color, the more sunlight will be reflected.
5. Dark Curtains: A quality set of dark curtains can block up to 99% of sunlight from entering your home. These curtains serve three purposes: keeping heat in during the winter, keeping a room dark for better sleep, and blocking direct light and preventing cooling loss during the summer. These curtains are an excellent investment in the energy efficiency and comfort of your home, and are generally inexpensive. During the summer, placing white curtains behind them (facing away from home), will reflect as much light as possible. If you have blinds, keep them closed during the day.
6. Create a Wind Tunnel: This can be done with any two windows in your home. For the best effect, choose the lowest and highest window in your home (a basement window and an attic window would be ideal). Place a box fan securely into the upper window facing out, and feel the cool breeze move through the house!
7. Turn the Lights off: The collective heat from all the light sources in your home can make a significant impact on the temperature. Turn the lights off in any room that you are not using. An incandescent bulb create much more heat than compact a fluorescent bulb, so consider replacing your bulbs as well.
8. Landscaping: By planting trees and shrubs around your home to absorb the sun’s energy is a smart way to make a huge difference on your home’s energy bill and will increase the value of your property. Deciduous trees are recommended because they will grow leaves in the summer to block the sun, and drop their leaves in the winter to let the light and heat in. Avoid asphalt, cement and plain rocks around your home because they absorb heat during the day and radiate it out in the evening, even after the temperature has dropped.
9. Choosing the Right Chore at the Right Time of Day: Choosing to do the right chore at the right time of day can save you a lot of money on your power bill. Regular daily activities like drying clothes, running the dishwasher, showering and cooking should be done at the coolest time of the day to keep it cooler in your home and lower your power bill.
10. Make Sure Your Home is Leak-Free: I’m sure we’ve all heard mom say “We are not trying to air condition the whole neighborhood!” Well, Mom was right. When you have cracks and draft areas in your home, you are letting all of the precious cool air right out of the house. Most problem areas can be remedied with caulk, draft stoppers and weather stripping. Draft stoppers can also be used to add a decorative touch at the holidays or anytime throughout the year.