Summer is officially here, and with it comes warm weather and sunshine. While we love the chance to get outside and enjoy those long summer days, it can be a miserable time of the year for those of us who don’t have air conditioning! If you fall into that camp, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to share with you about keeping your house cool, no matter the temperature outside. Go ahead and check out the list below!
When the house is warm and stuffy, your first instinct might be to open the windows. This might be helpful in some situations, but it can actually make matters worse in other situations. You have to be stratigic about your windows!
The first thing to note is that 30% of unwanted heat comes from windows. For this reason, it’s wise to keep the blinds closed, and if you can, invest in some blackout curtains. The next tip is to only open your windows at night. With the sun gone and the cooler air outside, it’s a good idea to go ahead and open those windows. Just make sure to close the windows in the morning to keep that cool air locked inside the house! You can create a cross breeze by opening a window on one side of your house with a fan pointed inward, and then opening a second window on the other end of the house with a fan blowing outward.
Use Fans Wisely
Aside from the cross breeze hack, there are several other tips for using your fans wisely. If you don’t have A/C, then you’ve probably invested in a box fan or two. Make sure you’re using them correctly! Though it might seem counter-intuitive, you actually want to point the box fan so it’s blowing out the window instead of inside the house. This will suck the warm air out.
Another trick for getting the most out of your fans is to adjust your ceiling fan to run counter clockwise. During the winter, having your ceiling fan on low while running clockwise helps create an updraft which makes warm air near the ceiling run down into the rest of the room. In the summer, however, switching the direction of the fan while running it on high will create a wind-chill effect which helps you feel cooler.
You can also make a faux A/C to provide temporary cold air when you need it most. Simply grab a bowl filled with ice, or even fill up a milk jug with water and freeze it, and put the ice behind the fan so it’s pulling cold air out. Yes, the ice will eventually melt, but you will get a nice blast of cold air in the meantime!
The last little trick that you might not think about is to use the exhaust fan in your bathroom and in the kitchen. These fans are specifically designed to draw out steam, yes, but also heat.
It’s no secret that turning on the oven heats up your house, or standing in front of a hot skillet on the stove will cause you to sweat. So, on the hottest of days, it’s best to utilize the grill! There are a surprising number of things you can make on the grill aside from the classic burgers and brats. Here are a few of our favorite grilled meals, including a steak salad, grilled veggies and ribs, and even dessert!
Focus On Your Internal Temperature
While there are plenty of ways to cool the air around you, the ultimate goal is to cool yourself, which means making wise choices when it comes to clothing, drinks, and yes, even your diet. Wearing loose, breezy clothing will help regulate your internal temperature. You can also enjoy a nice iced beverage, though there are plenty of cultures that swear by drinking hot drinks in the summer to help balance your internal temp. Also, avoid spicy food and alcohol on those extremely hot days, as these foods naturally make you warmer and sweaty.
Another way to cool down fast is to apply a cool washcloth to the back of your neck or on your wrists. You can also dip your feet in a bowl of cold water to help bring down your body temperature.
Switch Out Your Lightbulbs
Most people have incandescent bulbs in the lamps in their homes. You might be surprised to find that these bulbs waste about 90% of their energy in the heat they emit. By switching over to compact flourescent bulbs, you can minimize the heat as well as lower your energy bill.
Of course, you’ll want to keep the lights off as much as possible. In fact, unplugging electronics and power strips when you don’t need them is another small step in keeping your house cool during the summer!
Wet Sheet Hack
This might seem weird at first, but hear us out! Before the days of A/C, people used to hang wet sheets in the windows. The effect is similar to putting the ice behind the fan to get cooler air. As long as there is a breeze, the air blowing through the sheet will be surprisingly cool and refreshing. You can even add a few drops of essential oils to add a lovely fragrance to the air!