With the high cost of energy, trying to keep your house cool during the dog days of summer can be quite costly. These natural ways to help keep your home comfortable are easier on the environment and your wallet.
Have It Made in the Shade
One of the smartest ways to help keep your home cool is to plant deciduous trees where the sun shines the most on your house. When the leaves are in bloom, they’ll provide plenty of cooling shade. When they shed in the winter, they’ll allow the sun to get through to help warm your home. By having trees in the right location, you can reduce your air-conditioning needs by 30%, according to the USDA Forest Service. You should also plant shrubs to keep the lower portions of your house in the shade.
Use Your Windows Wisely
During the day, it’s best to keep the windows closed and the shades or blinds drawn to help keep the hot air outside from pouring in. Reflective curtains, solar shields or shutters are also effective ways to prevent the sun from beating in and heating up the house. At night open your windows and draw the drapes so you can let the cooler evening air into the house and enjoy the refreshing summer breeze. Also, consider installing roof vents to ventilate your attic and help the heat escape.
Keep the Heat Out of the Kitchen
Even though it’s insulated, your stove can disperse plenty of heat, so try to cook outdoors on the grill as much as possible. This will help keep the kitchen and surrounding areas more comfortable during the summer months. If you grow tired of barbequing, eat cold meals like hearty salads with fresh vegetables, beans, cheeses and fruits. Also, avoid using the toaster oven or the drying cycle on your dishwasher as they can turn up the heat in the kitchen.
Cool Off with Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are a great way to get the air circulating inside to help cool your home. They operate at a fraction of the cost of air-conditioners, so it pays to have them in as many rooms as practical. Try opening the basement door and placing a floor fan near it to draw the cooler air up into the main floor. This will also help to bring the temperature down during the heat of summer.
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