If you’re trying to find ways how to keep your house cool without spending a lot or having to do some major remodeling to accommodate a new HVAC system, there are things you can do to stay cool. They involve short-term and long-term solutions as well as things that are free or nearly free and things that involve a bit of an investment.
A complete HVAC system can cost thousands, and there are many of us who simply don’t have the money for something like that in our budgets. Many houses can’t accommodate them because of space restrictions either. Whether your air conditioning system has recently gone out and you’re learning to live without it or you never had one in the first place, you don’t have to suffer from the annoying and dangerous heat.
Learning how to keep your house cool is as simple as following these five pieces of advice:
1. Be smart about sunlight, openings and exhaust fans. Let’s start with the most obvious advice. Keeping light out and doors closed can dramatically cut the temperature inside when it’s hot outside. And running exhaust fans is a bad idea if you have any source of air conditioning at all because these extractor fans can pull all your cool air out, wasting it. If you have a window AC unit or a portable room air conditioner, make sure your home is sealed up so you don’t lose any of the cool air you’re able to generate.
2. Avoid cooking, especially using the oven. In generations past, people actually had outdoor kitchens to use in the summertime. That’s because cooking generates a lot of heat – even if you aren’t using the oven. Serve salads and cold foods on the hottest days. When you must cook, choose quick-cooking dishes you can do on top of the stove. Or better yet, set up your own outdoor kitchen with a barbecue grill. You can even heat casseroles and items in saucepans on a grill. Just don’t go in and out too many times and let out any cool indoor air you have.
3. Take full advantage of cool night air. When the temperature drops below 80 degrees outside, it’s time to open windows and doors. Just make sure it’s actually cool at night because it doesn’t always cool off when daytime temps soar over 100 degrees. But if it does, the air can be really refreshing. You can even open two or more windows and use a fan to create a wind tunnel effect to pull the hot air out of your home and the cool air in. Remember to close the windows before the outdoor air starts heating up again.
4. Switch to better indoor lighting. If you haven’t already ditched those old incandescent light bulbs but are already looking for information on how to keep your house cool, it’s time to get rid of them. Not only do they generate just as much heat as light but they also use lots of electricity you could be using to cool your home in some other way. While compact fluorescent bulbs were recommended until recently, skip those and move on to bright, ultra-efficient LED bulbs, which are getting more affordable with each passing day. You could see a dramatic difference if you’ve been leaving a lot of incandescent lights on.
5. Think about long-term home improvements. When looking for information on how to cool a room or an entire home, you’re likely to run across some really expensive suggestions. But some of them actually make sense in the long run. You can get a good return on your investment when you caulk and weatherstrip, and it might not hurt to add some awnings or trees around your property to block out some of the sun’s warming rays. If you can keep your home from absorbing warmth from the sun or letting in warm air through cracks or openings, you’re on your way to keeping your house cooler than ever before.
When you’re looking at how to keep your house cool, you’ll also see plenty of mentions of whole house attic fans. These are indeed one of the best ways to keep your home cool in the summer, but they aren’t cheap. The good news is that they’re less expensive than ever before. If you’re making changes and don’t plan to ever have central air conditioning, it might be worth considering adding an attic fan. You’ll get great results if you can manage it.
Whether you’re trying to learn how to cool a room where you spend most of your time or how to keep your house cool without having to spend much money or install air conditioning, you can benefit from these tips. I know they work because I use them myself.