How to Keep Your Home (and You) Cool During a Heat Wave

Things are heating up as the dog days of summer go full tilt. What this means for many Americans is the painful choice between soaring electric bills or uncomfortably (and sometimes unsafely) warm homes. These tips will help you keep your home and yourself cool during the worst heat waves summer has to throw your way.

Block the Sun from Coming In
If you have awnings, use them to provide shade over your windows. This helps prevent some of the radiant heat from the sunlight to come in through your windows. Additionally, use blinds and window treatments to provide protection from the sun throughout the day. They serve as insulation against the heat of the sun coming into the home and can save you a substantial amount of electricity simply by drawing them during the heat of the day.

Use a Whole House Fan
If you don’t have one already, a whole house fan is an investment that will pay for itself in energy savings over air conditioning alone. Not only does a whole house fan help to keep your home cooler, throughout the night and later into the day, for less; but it also helps to improve the air quality inside your home.

Move the Cooking Outdoors
While most people are not comfortable with the idea of cooking out every night, cooking outside on the hottest nights prevents the stove or oven from heating up the entire house during meal prep. Other options, for those who do not have the option of grilling out, include dining on colder foods like salads and sandwiches, preparing meals in a slow cooker, or learning to cook in the microwave.

Switch to LED Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs put out a great deal of heat. If you aren’t ready to make the switch to LED, consider turning off lights that aren’t truly necessary during the day and throughout the evening.

Go Low
Seriously, consider lowering the height of your beds or camping out on the floor with an air mattress for the worst days of summer. This also means you might want to consider sleeping on the first floor if you live in a two story home. Heat rises, making it much more comfortable for sleep and relaxation the lower you go.

These great tips can help you keep your cool no matter how hot things get around you, without breaking your budget for the summer in the process. Try them today and see what a difference they make for your home.