Summer is knocking at our door, and soon we will have the hot sun shining on our homes causing uncomfortable temperatures indoors. This non-stop battle within our homes is one that we will consistently fight throughout the summer heat. In order to have an edge on the summer heat we need to do some home improvement projects and quick fixes to remove heat buildup in our homes. These easy-to-do and natural ways to cool our homes use simple and natural methods. Take a look at some ways you can cool your home naturally this summer:
Open windows and doors and let air flow through when the air outside of the house is cooler than the inside. This is enough to cool the house the natural way. Natural ventilation shifts the air to keep you and your home cool. By understanding the wind patterns, you can alter your window openings and outdoor spaces to enhance your comfort. Open the lowest windows on the side from where the breeze is coming. Leave interior doors open, and open the upstairs windows on the opposite side of the house to create a cross breeze throughout your home.
Cover the windows with light-colored window treatments in Orlando to block the summer heat. Pale-hued curtains or blinds help reflect sunlight away from the house. Install awnings or reflective window film to deflect heat. Use screens, cloths or shields to prevent the sun’s rays from entering the window. This is great for windows exposed to direct sunlight. Close south and west-facing curtains during the day for any window that gets direct sunlight.
Check for leaks or worn weather strips along the windows that let the heat seep in. Fill the gaps around window moldings with caulking.
Many people don’t realize that it’s not just the sun that is heating your home but it can, in fact, be the very appliances you rely on every day. Here are a few areas that you might consider addressing to help keep your home cooler this summer:
- Incandescent bulbs release heat; replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents or LEDs.
- Unplug appliances and electronics that are not in use; they still generate heat.
- If you live in a dry climate, consider using an evaporative cooler, which contains water–saturated pads. This device keeps the interior air cool by pushing warm air out of the house through open windows.
- Washers and dryers generate large amounts of heat and humidity. When possible, use them in the morning or late evening when you can better tolerate the extra heat throughout your home. Use a clothes line to dry clothes to combat dryer heat.
- Insulate your water heater with a water heater ‘blanket’. Water heaters radiate heat, which can be easily contained by insulation.
- Shut gas supply to fireplace and heaters. The pilot light can generate a considerable amount of heat if left on, and should be off during the warm months.
Using Mother Nature around our homes to help stave off the summer heat can be one of the best methods for naturally cooling our homes. Consider growing climbing vines on the sunny sides of your house. Let them grow on a trellis so they don’t block cooling air from moving around the house or cause moisture problems. You might even try planting tall trees to the south end of your homes and shorter trees to the west to shade your roof during the hottest time of the day. Plant hedges and bushes to shade the patios and driveways. These plants will reduce the temperature in your home. Keep rock features, paved areas, and rock walls to a minimum, especially on the south and west sides of the home because they radiate heat gathered throughout the day.
Roof and Attic
Most of us neglect our attic in the summer as we think it has nothing to do with the heat we are feeling. This is a grave mistake and measures should be taken to remedy the situation. Almost a third of the heat comes from the roof; apply a reflective coating or replace your roof with materials that block the absorption of heat. Or consider installing a radiant barrier in the attic to reduce the amount of heat.
Sealing air leaks and insulating between the attic and house keeps hot air in the attic and doesn’t have you trying to cool that extra square footage. Less accumulated heat will radiate down into your house if you ventilate your attic.
By simply making some home improvements and quick fixes, we will be able to enjoy a comfortable summer with our whole family, the natural way!