My, my, my…. It’s been warm lately, hasn’t it? I guess in my neck of the woods, it isn’t so much the heat as it is the humidity, but still, the house has been somewhat uncomfortable at times. I’m one of those people who hates to run the air conditioning – even though we have it – because it costs so much. I’m always looking for ways to keep the house cool without it, to the dismay of my family. However, I have found a few ways that work rather nicely, and I thought I’d share them with you. Here are 6 ways to keep your house cool without spending a lot of money.
1. Fans are your best friends.
Seriously. Any fan will do, but in our house, we installed ceiling fans in every room (except the bathrooms). Running a ceiling fan can drop the temperature in a room by six or seven degrees, allowing you to turn the thermostat up and save money. If you don’t have ceiling fans, box fans work too, especially when placed in a window to either pull cool air in, or blow hot air out.
Another little tip to keep in mind for this winter: flip the switch on your ceiling fans so they turn the opposite direction. Run them on low and keep the room several degrees warmer without having to turn the heat up.
2. Use air conditioning wisely.
If you must use air conditioning, make sure heat-generating appliances stay away from the thermostat. Lamps, TVs and the like throw off heat that can cause the air conditioning to operate less efficiently. Also, turn on your ceiling fans to help cool air move throughout the house.
3. Install a programmable thermostat.
When people use a manual thermostat, the air conditioner tends to run much longer than it really needs to. Install a programmable thermostat and set it to cool less when everyone is at work and school or at night when it’s cooler outside. You can set it to begin cooling more just before you get up or just before you return home from work.
4. Don’t pay to cool the outdoors.
That coolness from the air conditioner is expensive, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like sharing it with the critters outside. I went around and applied caulking and weather stripping around all the windows and doors to keep the cool air in and the warm air out.
5. Hang white window treatments.
White reflects the sun and heat, so install white shades and/or curtains to help keep the heat of the day out. This is especially important on the south and west-facing sides of your home where the afternoon summer sun hits directly.
6. Your landscaping makes a difference.
What you plant around your home makes quite a bit of difference in terms of the temperatures inside the home. Trees strategically placed on the south and west sides of your home can keep it much cooler inside. Landscaping in the form of rocks, cement or asphalt will actually soak up the sun’s rays and continue to radiate heat into your home long after the sun sets.
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