How do you keep your house cool in summer?

The answer might seem obvious: air conditioning of course.  If you’re having trouble staying cool, investing in a more modern, high-efficient Air Conditioning unit is a logical first step.  However, maybe you’re looking around for something other than air conditioning.  After all, even efficient AC ups your energy bills and high efficiency unit cans be costly, so why not figure out some others ways to keep your house comfortable during heat waves.

Keep hot air out and cool air in.  At night it’s not unusual for it to get cooler outside than it is in your home.  If that’s the case, opening windows after the sun goes down and closing them as soon as you get up in the morning can be an effective way to stay cool during the day.  Insulating features like weather stripping around doorways as well as more costly technology like double-panned windows are usually thought of as being necessary only in cold climes, but they can be just as effective at keeping hot air out as in.

Create a breeze.  There’s nothing more pleasant than a cool breeze on a hot day and you can bring that pleasure into you house.  You probably already do, as most households already have a fan or two.  Still, optimizing your fan usage can make a difference.  First off, remember that fans don’t actually cool air, so it’s a waste of energy leaving them on if you’re not home.  Secondly, position fans so that they blow out downwind facing windows and in upwind facing windows can bring the wind into your house.  Make sure to leave interior doors cracked to ensure air movement throughout your home.  Even a slight breeze can make air temperatures seem to drop by several degrees.   However, remember that bringing air into your home during the day is only going to feel cool if the incoming air isn’t too hot.  Any time it’s hotter than 77 degrees outside, you’re probably better of keeping the windows closed and waiting until nighttime to take advantage of your fans.

Manage Light.  If you’re outside during the summer you know that one of the most immediate ways to cool off is to get into the shade.  The same applies to your house.  In the northern hemisphere, the sun is always shining in your south facing windows, so consider creating awnings that block summer sun from entering southern windows at noon, if your roof’s overhang is insufficient.  Hanging up blinds and shades, especially outside the window, can drastically reduce solar gain in your house.

“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”  We’ve all heard this phrase and there’s a lot of truth behind it.  Managing moisture in your house can be just as helpful for you health as managing temperature.  Plants, which put moisture into the air as they perform photosynthesis, can be moved outdoors onto porches or into window boxes.  If you hang up your clothes to dry, do it outside.  Consider buying a de-humidifier if you’re having trouble keeping your house dry.  Air conditioning units typically also de-humidify and it’s sometimes possible to replace or upgrade the dehumidifying component.

Long term projects.  If you want to really get into passive cooling beyond some shades over your windows, consider planting trees or shrubs in front of westward or southern facing windows to block sunlight from entering your house.  Remember though, this can come back to bite you if you live somewhere with cold winters, when you want that southern sunlight streaming in.

We hope this helped give you some ideas for keeping your house’s temperature and your energy bills low!

Heating Services Massachusetts, USA