Summer is almost here. While some of us are looking forward to spending time outdoors and getting a tan, others may be dreading the uncomfortable heat and sleepless nights that may come with it. By taking measures now to keep your home cool, you can make sure that your summer at home is an enjoyable one (and with the COVID-19 crisis still going on, there is a chance we may be spending a lot of our summer at home).
Here are a few ways to keep your home cool this summer.
Open a window
Opening a window is an obvious way to keep your home cool. If there’s a breeze, it will allow cool air to circulate your home (and unlike using a fan or air con, it doesn’t cost you any money). The best time to open windows is at night when there’s most likely to be cooler air coming in. It can be tempting to leave windows open all day while you’re out, however, you should be careful as this could be a way of advertising your home to burglars. If you feel that you have to leave windows open, make it upper floor windows that are less accessible.
Hanging wet clothes or a wet sheet in front of a window can also be a great way of cooling any breeze that comes in. The air will travel through the wet clothes and help them to dry while also catching moisture and helping to cool your home.
Upgrade the air con
Air conditioning is the most effective way to keep your home cool. However, you want to make sure that you’ve got a reliable and economical HVAC system fitted. You don’t want to be paying high energy bills for a HVAC system that cools only half the house.
By investing in the help of top HVAC companies, you can find the best air conditioning system for your home and get it installed before summer arrives. If you’re happy with your current air conditioning system, it may still not harm you to get it serviced before summer, just in case. Many air conditioning systems break down in summer due to heavy usage and an inspection could help to prevent this by detecting any problems early.
Use fans strategically
You can also use fans to cool your home. These could be cheaper to run than air conditioning and more ideal if you just want to cool specific rooms.
Ceiling fans could be something to look into if you live in an area that is prone to heatwaves. Ceiling fans can operate on the same switch as your light, or you can operate them separately. Make sure you set the direction of the fan blades to counter clockwise. A clockwise fan will draw heat up, while a counter clockwise fan pushes cool air down.
You can also make use of portable fans to keep your home cool. Using two fans in opposite corners of a room will create a cross breeze and help air to circulate. If you have one fan, it might be more effective to direct this out of a window. While pointing it towards you may seem more sensible, pointing a fan out of the window may actually help to stop hot air coming in during the day.
Another option could be to direct a fan towards you and place a tray of ice in front. The ice can help to cool the air and it will feel just like air con.
Draw curtains or leave them open?
It’s often a hot debate: should you leave your curtain open during the summer to let in the cool breeze or should you draw them to stop the sun heating up your home? The answer depends on the type of curtains you have.
If you have thick curtains, drawing these could stop the cool breeze getting in and could make your home hotter. Shutters may also have the same effect. If you have thick curtains or shutters, keep them open to avoid stifling and stagnant air.
Light curtains or blinds, meanwhile, are best left shut. In fact, they’re often the best option in the summer as they will stop the sunlight getting in while also allowing a cool breeze to still pass.
Limit oven usage
It’s a simple fact: Using your oven regularly in the summer will make your home warmer. Even the most energy-efficient ovens still give off heat (particularly if you’re using the hobs).
Try to limit oven usage as much as you can during the summer months. This could include cooking food in the microwave, cooking meals outside on the barbecue, or simply relying on cold dishes like salads and cold meat platters.
Switch to cooler bedding
If the summer heat causes you to get sweaty in the night and affects your sleep quality, it could be worth looking into new bedding. Certain bed sheet materials are likely to be more breathable and could prevent you from getting as sweaty. These materials include cotton and bamboo. There are also blankets and pillows out there that are designed to stay cooler.
You can also find ways to further cool bed sheets such as placing a fan in front of them before entering your bed or even putting them in the freezer (this might sound ridiculous, but it will guarantee that your sheets stay cool – just don’t keep them in the freezer for too long).
Provide some outdoor shade
Canopies and umbrellas could help to keep any outdoor space sheltered from the sun. You may also be able to use canopies to offer shade over windows so that less heat is coming into your home during the day. This could be a permanent canopy that attaches to the wall of your home or something temporary such as a gazebo or a patio umbrella. Consider which windows receive the most sunlight during the day and find ways of sheltering these without completely blocking out the light.