How to Keep Your House Cool Without Breaking the Bank

How to Keep Your House Cool

Summer is a great time of outdoor fun and lounging in the sun, but it's always nice to come back inside the house and feel that rush of cold air. Here's some cost-effective ways to keep your home cool in the heat of the summer season:

  • Dehumidify. High humidity makes it feel a lot hotter than it actually is. To feel cooler in humid climates, use a dehumidifier and wear loose cotton clothing (or other natural fabrics).
  • Reduce and reflect sunlight. Direct sunlight into your home can increase the temperature. To keep sun out, use blinds, curtains, or reflective window panels.
  • Turn off lights and unplug electronics when not in use. Lightbulbs, appliances, and electronics all produce heat. Turning off and unplugging these heat-producers can lead to a cooler interior.
  • Be smart about doors and windows. If a room is cooler than the outside temperature, close the doors and windows. If it's cooler outside and you turn off the AC, open windows at both ends of the house. This is called cross-ventilation, and it lets air move freely throughout the whole structure. A good time for this is at night–summer nights are often much cooler than daytime hours.
  • Watch when you cook inside and do laundry. The oven/stove and the dryer are both heat multipliers, so try not to use them during the hottest hours of the day. For example, you could cook outside, bake at night instead of in the afternoon, and hang your wet laundry on a clothesline to dry.
  • Replace AC with ice and a fan. Placing a bowl of ice in front a fan makes for an instant makeshift air conditioner (one that's a lot cheaper than the real thing!).
  • Point box fans outside. If you use a box fan, point it out the window. Doing this pushes hot air out, which is often more effective in cooling your home than creating an artificial breeze.