The heat is not an easy opponent. The Pacific Northwest has recently experienced the worst heat wave in a long time.
And if people are not careful, the heat wave can affect their health in different ways. In extreme cases, people exposed to a heat wave may experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Milder effects include headaches, cramps, and dehydration, among many others.
You can avoid these effects by keeping cool in your home during summer. Probably the easiest way to stay cool is to open your air-conditioning unit. But relying solely on your AC will lead to absurd utility bills during summer. Regular usage also means regular cleaning. If you don’t, various debris will collect in the AC’s filter, which will make the appliance less efficient.
Luckily, there are other simple tips you can try to stay cool at home.
Wear and Use Lighter Fabrics
Your clothes also contribute to how cool you feel during summer. It’s just like with colder seasons: you need to wear certain materials to stay warm. Make yourself more comfortable at home by wearing light fabrics, such as cotton and linen. Avoid heavy fabrics such as denim, fleece, and leather.
Close the Curtains or Blinds
If the air outside is cool, you can open your windows to let it in. But during summer, it’s more likely for the air to be hot, especially during the day. The sunlight also adds heat to your home since about 76 percent of the sunlight that passes through windows and into your home becomes heat.
With that in mind, you should cover your windows during the day to keep the sunlight from getting in. Curtains are good window coverings. But they do accumulate dust more quickly than most coverings. You can use blinds instead. They can also give you more control of the light coming in. Along with a covering, you might also consider regular window cleaning to improve the air quality in your home. This will help you feel more refreshed inside even though the windows are closed.
Switch to LED
The sun adds to the heat during the day. During the night, the lights in your home replace the sun.
Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED lights at home. Between the two, incandescent bulbs produce more heat. And they contribute to the warm temperature inside your home. Thus, using LED bulbs will help you stay cool. And as a bonus, LED bulbs will also save you money in the long term since they’re more energy-efficient than incandescent lights.
Install Ceiling Fans in Common Areas
If you don’t have an AC, the next best thing you can do is to install ceiling fans in the common areas of your home, such as the living room and the kitchen. A ceiling fan can’t cool down a room as an AC does. But the fan helps improve air circulation in a room by pushing down air.
Adding a ceiling fan in a room that already has AC is also not a bad idea. The fan will help distribute the air efficiently and make the room cooler more quickly.
Optimize Your Electric Fans
Usually, nighttime is much cooler than daytime. So you can turn off your AC to give it some rest. You can also open your windows to let the cold air in. In this instance, using fans by the window will help pull the cool air quickly into your home.
You can use the same trick during the day to cool down as well. Place a bowl of ice in front of or behind your fan and point it in your direction. As the ice melts, the fan will blow cold air. You’ll feel like you have your AC turned on, though it’s temporary.
Cooking indoors can heat up the interior of your home as well. It may even get stuffy, especially if the weather is already very humid. So consider cooking outdoors when you can. Perhaps use the grill outside more often during summer. This is a great excuse to have a mini barbecue party in your home and spend time outside. Or if you already have a backyard kitchen, cook most of your dishes there.
There are many ways to beat the summer heat. You can use your AC during the heat’s peak hours. But you should also try other ways to keep cool while you’re at home. These ways might even help you save money on your electric bill in the long term.