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Jun 21, 2024
3 min

How to Keep Your Home Cool Without an Air Conditioner All Summer Long

Summer has arrived, bringing with it beautiful sunny days as well as some uncomfortably hot ones. As temperatures rise, keeping your home cool becomes a priority. While air conditioners are the go-to solution for many, they can be costly and energy-intensive. Fortunately, there are numerous strategies to keep your home cool without relying on air conditioning. These strategies not only help you beat the heat but also save you money in the long run. Here are some practical tips from our friends at Zoocasa to help you keep cool this summer: 

Optimize Ventilation

There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than with the help of Mother Nature! Open windows and doors on opposite sides of your home to create cross-ventilation. The natural summer breeze should work to cool down the home without costing a penny.

Box fans are also useful to draw cooler air into your home, especially during the mornings and evenings when temperatures are lower. You may also want to consider installing ceiling fans to enhance airflow more strategically. Ceiling fans are a relatively affordable home upgrade that can enhance both the comfort and aesthetic appeal of your home, especially as energy efficiency and cost savings become increasingly important to homebuyers

Block Out the Sun

While opening your windows to let in the summer breeze can help cool down your home, it's also important to cover the windows to reduce heat from entering. You’ll especially want to make sure that you close curtains and blinds during the hottest part of the day, typically in the afternoons.

Instead of traditional curtains and blinds, consider opting for reflective window films which work to deflect sunlight and reduce heat absorption. Not only can reflective window films reduce the need for air conditioning, but they also help to block harmful UV rays. This can help protect your skin in the summer and also to prevent fading of furniture and carpets, while also creating a healthier living space.

Enhance Insulation

Although it might sound counterintuitive, enhancing the insulation of your home is beneficial not just in winter, but also in summer. Proper insulation prevents warm air from entering and cool air from escaping, helping to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and reducing the need for air conditioning.

One way to test for drafts in your home is to light a candle and move it around slowly near the edges of windows and doors. Watch for the flame to be disturbed by air movement, which indicates a draft.

Another way to test for drafts is to put a piece of paper underneath a door or window. If you can easily pull the paper out without tearing it, then there is likely a gap that needs sealing. You can use weather stripping or caulk to seal any gaps or cracks you find.

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Manage Heat-Producing Appliances

Heat-generating appliances like ovens, stoves, and dryers can significantly increase the temperature inside your home, making it more difficult to keep cool during the summer.

On top of avoiding using these appliances during the hottest part of the day, you should consider using alternative cooking methods such as microwaving, grilling outdoors, or preparing cold meals to further reduce indoor heat.

It may also be beneficial to switch to energy-efficient lighting. By replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, you can reduce the amount of heat generated in your home, lower your energy consumption, and save on electricity bills. 

Landscaping for Shade

By strategically planting trees and shrubs around your home, you can naturally cool your living space and enhance energy efficiency. Trees and shrubs reduce the amount of direct sunlight hitting your house, acting as an effective barrier against the sun's heat. This not only helps to maintain a cooler indoor temperature but also decreases the need for air conditioning, leading to lower energy costs.

Start by planting deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home. These trees will provide shade during the summer, while still allowing sunlight to penetrate and warm your home during the winter.

Use shrubs and bushes around the base of your home to block low-angle sunlight and provide additional insulation. Evergreen shrubs are ideal for year-round protection.

Climbing plants are another good option to cool off your home. Growing climbing plants like trellises or pergolas near windows and doors can provide additional shading and cooling benefits. 

Install a Green Roof

If feasible, consider installing a green roof with plants and vegetation to provide insulation and reduce heat absorption. Though the cost of installing a green roof can vary depending on the size and specific design, these roofs can save you money in the long run due to their energy-saving benefits.

Green roofs are particularly effective at cooling your home by absorbing sunlight and heat, preventing them from penetrating your living spaces. The vegetation layer acts as a natural barrier, significantly reducing indoor temperatures during hot summer months and lessening the reliance on air conditioning.

Green roofs work best on flat or slightly sloped roofs that can support the weight of the green roof system. When combined with other sustainable practices, such as rainwater harvesting and solar panels, you can achieve maximum environmental benefits. 

DIY Evaporative Coolers

Evaporative coolers, also sometimes called swamp coolers, are another energy-efficient way to cool your home during the summer. These devices work by evaporating water to cool the air. You can easily create your DIY evaporative cool with just a few simple materials.

Start with a large plastic or styrofoam cooler. Drill several holes near the top on one side for airflow. Cut a hole in the lid for a small electric fan to blow air into the cooler. Fill the cooler with ice packs or ice cubes and add some water.

Next, just plug in the fan and enjoy the stream of cool air! Just make sure to regularly refill the cooler with ice and water for effective cooling.

For more tips on homeownership and making the most of your living space, visit Zoocasa’s blog

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