During the winter months, it feels like summer can’t come soon enough. Then it arrives, and suddenly, you remember why Fall is more your season.
Keeping your home (and your body) cool offers a lovely retreat from the summer heat. Plus, you can use all your utility savings to get out and enjoy the weather while it lasts.
Here are some practical tips to help make your home feel cooler during the summer months.
Schedule an AC Tune-Up
Start with some preventative maintenance by scheduling an air conditioner tune-up. Ideally, you should schedule this appointment before the summer heat takes hold to avoid delays. During this appointment, a technician will inspect your AC, clean out the filters and connectors, tighten and lubricate connections, and see if a more extensive AC Repair is needed.
This simple tune-up appointment can help you cut back on repair and utility costs and ensure everything runs smoothly on that first hot day. If you haven’t added this to your spring to-do list, it’s well worth doing!
Put up Thermal Curtains or Film
It’s estimated that 30% of heat and cooling loss occurs through windows. While it’s nice to throw back the curtains and let in the summer sun, doing so will counteract your cooling efforts, costing you money and comfort.
Investing in a simple set of thermal curtains can help block heat from the sun, keeping your home cool and comfortable. As a result, your air conditioner will work more efficiently. This small investment is a must if you don’t have air conditioning. In addition to blocking the summer sun, your curtains will also block cold drafts in the winter. You can get these affordable life-savers on Amazon in a variety of colors and styles.
Heat-blocking film is an alternative to curtains, letting the sunshine through but limiting the intensity. While not as effective as thermal curtains, the film offers the benefit of allowing the light in.
Do Some Strategic Landscaping
Did you know that the layout of your yard can impact your energy efficiency? Strategic landscaping can help you keep your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter, putting less stress on your air conditioner and furnace.
If you live in a temperate area, the goal is to maximize shade during the summer and sun exposure during the winter. Planting a few deciduous (leafy) trees or bushes near windows can help create shade during blooming periods and let the sun in after the leaves have fallen.
You can also work with a landscape architect to create a microclimate, channeling summer breezes toward your home while blocking cold winter winds.
Create an Ice Fan
Creating a simple ice fan is an easy way to make certain rooms feel cooler during the summer months— for example, your bedroom when you’re going to sleep.
For this DIY project, all you need is a small table or stool, a fan, and a bowl of ice. Set the bowl of ice in front of the fan and point it where you want to direct the cool air. It seems simple, but it’s really effective! For a sustainable approach, use the water for your garden the next day or refreeze it and use it again the next night.
Adjust Your Overhead Fans
You can adjust the direction on a ceiling fan to create an updraft or downdraft, depending on the season.
When your fan is spinning counter-clockwise, it will push cool air down. Conversely, when it’s turning clockwise, it pushes hot air down back toward the floor. Make sure your fan is spinning counter-clockwise for the summer and switch it back to clockwise for the winter.
Adjust Your Diet
What does your diet have to do with the temperature of your home? It’s all about how you cook your food. Swapping out root vegetable sheet pan dinners for salads and sliced raw veggies means not turning on your oven and heating your home further. Swapping out casseroles and roasted meat for some outdoor grilling has the same effect.
Be Sun Smart
There are many reasons to practice sun safety, from preventing cancer to avoiding early aging. However, it’s worth considering what happens in the immediate days and nights when you get a terrible sunburn: your body radiates heat.
No matter how high you crank on the air conditioner, you and those around you will feel the burn if you don’t practice sun safety. Do it for comfort, if nothing else.
Try a Wearable
These days, it seems like there’s a wearable device for everything. The Embr Wave was designed for women experiencing menopause symptoms. However, you can also use it for comfort in warm or cold settings.
This high-tech wrist patch sends a cooling or warming sensation, depending on your needs at the time. If you struggle to sleep during the summer, this device could be life-altering.
With these simple tips, you can make your home (and your body) feel cooler this summer.