7 Green Ways to Keep Your Home Cool

3 Aug

I walked into my un-air-conditioned flat the other afternoon to find my two beautiful roommates sitting in their bathing suits.  It was 97 degrees outside and they had every window open!  I just couldn’t believe that they didn’t know to close the windows to keep the heat out.  In case you’re in the same boat as my roommies here are 7 ways to keep your home cooler during this heat wave.

1. Keep All Doors and Windows Closed During the Day :  By keeping windows closed while during the day you are stopping the hotter air outside from getting into your home.  Of course, open the windows back up at night when the air outside is cooler than the air inside.  This keeps the air in your home cool and fresh.

2. Close Shades and Curtains While the Sun is Out :  Closing any shades and curtains you own when the sun is coming in through that window.  This keeps the suns rays from warming up the air already inside the house.  Don’t have any window treatments?  Do spend the extra cash to get some.  On top of helping to keep your home cool during summer, they also keep heat in and cold out during winter.  I found the vintage-floral inspired ones to the left at Urban Outfitters.  They have lots of other fun prints and accessories as well!

3. Install Double-Paned Windows :  This is one of the more pricey suggestions, but really worth it if you’re renovating your home.  Double or even triple-paned windows create a buffer of air between the exterior and interior of your house.  This stops the area around your windows from being heated up or cooled down by the air outside.

4. Get a Plant :  Plants actually cool the air.  They sweat, just like we do, to cool down and use the sun’s rays to evaporate the water they release.

5. Keep Your Fans On :  While fans do use electricity they also keep the air circulating which makes you more comfortable in a hotter space. But while you’re at it…

6. Keep Your Air-conditioner On :  Once again this doesn’t sound very green, but if you have to use an air-conditioner you should leave it on.  Turning it off and on a lot might seem like you’re saving energy but it’s actually wasting more.  Each time you turn it off and then back on it has to re-condition the air in the space, making it work harder than it would have to if it was just left on.  By all means, if it is going to be cool for several days turn it off, but if it’s only going to be cool for a day or so just leave it on.  To give your mind (and wallet) a rest turn the temperature in your home up a few degrees.  Chances are you won’t notice and it will greatly help save on energy.

7.  Add Insulation in Your Attic :  This one is kind of surprising, I know.  You’re thinking, insulation is what keeps the heat in my house during winter.  Well, it also keeps heat out during summer.  Making sure your house is well insulated cuts on energy costs year-round because your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a steady temperature.  The bonus is that insulation typically costs less during summer!

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