With parts of the US experiencing record-breaking heatwaves in 2021, it’s no surprise you might be desperately Googling ways of beating the heat. And there’s no sign of things cooling down either, so it’s time to get prepared.
Air conditioning and climate control systems are great if you have them, but have them running 24/7, and your utility bills will skyrocket. Thankfully, there are other ways to keep cool–from installing ceiling fans to getting more indoor plants.
Read on for seven tips on how to how to keep a room cool throughout the sweltering summer months.
1. Unplug Unused Electronics
Your TVs, computers, kitchen appliances, and other gadgets use a lot of energy when they’re turned on. And this, in turn, creates a lot of heat. So if you’re not using an appliance, switch it off or set it to standby.
Though be sure to keep them plugged into a surge protector in case there’s a storm.
In the same regard, consider the time of day you charge your phone, tablet, or watch. Instead of doing it at or overnight when you’re trying to relax or go to sleep, do it in the early morning when it’s cooler.
2. Install Ceiling Fans
One of the best ways to keep a house cool is to keep the air moving indoors. And one of the best ways to do that is to install a belt driven ceiling fan.
A few tips for using ceiling fans effectively include:
- Turn them off when you’re not in a room
- Choose the appropriately sized fan for your space
- Ensure they’re installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Install fans in houses with ceilings eight feet high or over
- Set them to turn counterclockwise, so they pull hot air up
If you’re getting a ceiling fan to save money as well as cool you down, look out for fans with the ENERGY STAR label. They’re as much as twenty percent more efficient than standard models.
3. A Fan of Standing Fans
Ceiling fans work well to keep temperatures down, but they can be a pricey investment for some people. If the cost of ceiling fans is out of reach for you, fret not! Standing and box fans do the job almost as well.
You just need to know a few tricks to get them working at their best.
Point box fans out a window, and they’ll push the hot air out of a room. This technique can also help to create a strong cross-breeze. Or make a DIY AC unit by placing a roasting pan full of ice in front of the fan.
A bonus: The white noise from a fan can relax some people and help them sleep.
4. Bed Sheets That Keep You Cool
Satin and silk might feel nice on the skin, but when it comes to keeping cool, go for cotton.
Bedsheets made of light-colored Egyptian or standard cotton are naturally breathable, ensuring there’s good airflow in your bed while you sleep.
Extend the craving for cotton to your sleepwear, and you’ll fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed rather than sweaty. Avoid heavier fabrics like wool and artificial textiles at all costs.
You can also try soaking a towel or sheet in cold water and laying it over yourself as you sleep. Just be sure to put a dry towel over your mattress to protect it from damp.
5. Keep the Sunlight Out
Are you still wondering how to keep the house cool? Keeping the blinds closed in the daytime is a surprisingly simple, cost-effective cooling technique.
If sunlight is streaming in through your windows all day, the sun will turn your home into an oven. And that heat will get trapped inside even through the night. So resist the urge to open up the curtains and let in the morning sun–in the summer at least.
Of course, it depends on which direction your windows face, too.
Dress south-facing windows with thick thermal-backed or black-out curtains to increase their heat-blocking power. In addition, you could consider installing indoor window shades or exteriors louvers on these windows.
6. Eat (and Even Cook) Outside
No one likes to slave over a hot stove, least of all when it’s as hot outside as in. So why not take the cooking out? It’s as simple as setting up your patio or balcony with some outdoor dining furniture.
You don’t have to wait until there’s a birthday or pool party to fire up the BBQ. Even if you don’t have a fancy outdoor kitchen, setting up a small gas BBQ or looking for an appliance with a built-in grill that you could set up outside means you can cook dinner with a cool breeze. Serve your steaks with simple green salads or veggie sides that you can grill, too.
Alternatively, ditch the cooking altogether and live on a variety of Mezze platters for the summer.
7. Nurture Your Green Thumb
The houseplant craze of recent years only got bigger once COVID hit, and we all had to stay home a lot.
Having lots of little green friends around brightens your home, cleans the air indoors, and even makes you feel less stressed. But did you know they also keep your home cool?
Due to transpiration, plants release water vapor (tiny droplets of water) from their leaves into the air. If you have a decent amount of plants around, you might notice a slight temperature drop. Choose tropical plants that like humid conditions, like rubber plants, lilies, and palms.
How to Keep Cool When It’s Hot Out
If you’re struggling to keep cool when the weather warms, it’s time to get smart and incorporate some of these easy tricks into your life. Most won’t cost you much (unless you’re planning to buy hundreds of plants), are simple to recreate, and can be used in humid or dry climates.
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