Unless we’re on a beach drinking from a coconut while lounging under a thatched-roof hut, no one wants the scorching summer heat, especially if we’re stuck in our house.
You might think that AC is the only thing that can help you survive the sweltering heat, but the truth is doing some simple hacks can keep your home cool without having to rely on this expensive, electricity-hogging appliance.
Use your outdoor grill
Indoor cooking, especially when you use an oven, can raise your home’s temperature by up to 5 degrees. Hence, you may want to use your outdoor grill more often during the summer peak.
If you really need to use your oven, wait until the outside temperature cools down or turn on your kitchen exhaust fan. Another alternative is to use a slow cooker rather than a stove to minimize the amount of heat generated in your kitchen.
Close your doors
If you spend most of your time in one room, close the doors to other rooms that you are not using, e.g., bathrooms and bedrooms. This simple trick can keep the cooler air concentrated in a single area.
Also, install door sweepers for exterior doors to seal the gap between their bottom and the threshold. Not only do they prevent dust, water, and insects from entering your home, but they also prevent air leaks that force your HVAC system to work more than necessary.
Use fans wisely
Strategic placement of fans can create cross ventilation (or in layman’s terms, breezes), keeping your home cool without resorting to the noisy and expensive AC units. A good rule of thumb is to place a fan in the coolest part of your home or near a window in the shade and angle it towards the area you want to keep cool.
You may need to do some trial and error before you can come up with the most efficient “fan network” in your home.
Another trick you may want to try is to place a bowl of ice in front of a fan to create a cooler breeze.
Use blackout curtains
These are made of thick, tightly woven fabric that can reduce the heat transferred through the windows by up to 25%. During the summer months, use them in rooms that get the most sunlight.
Blackout curtains, blinds, and shades not only keep your home cool during the summer but also prevent premature aging of your carpet, furniture, and wood floor.
Reduce humidity with simple hacks
The high humidity during summer makes the heat even more unbearable. Not only that, too much moisture in the air can result in mold and mildew growth, which is a serious health hazard.
These are some of the simple tricks to reduce the humidity in your home:
- Open your windows (in the vast majority of cases, the humidity outside is lower compared to your home’s)
- Use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
- Do laundry less frequently.
- Turn on your ceiling fan. While it doesn’t actually remove moisture in the air, the increased airflow helps with evaporation.
- Consider using natural methods such as baking soda and rock salt to reduce humidity in smaller areas like cabinets.
- Use a dehumidifier for larger rooms that have high levels of humidity. There are portable versions if you don’t want to spend money on a whole-house dehumidifier system.
Open windows at night
When the temperature drops at night, open your windows to let in the cooler air. And when the sun comes up and starts to heat the air, close the windows and draw the curtains and blinds.
Weather-proof your windows
There are several ways to weather-proof your windows: apply window film, re-caulk their sides, apply foam tapes, and hang insulated curtains or blinds.
Create a network of shade
Putting climbing plant trellis on your wall, planting shrubs and small trees around your home, and installing awnings on your south-facing windows can block as much as 65% of the summer heat.
Replace incandescent lights with LED bulbs
LED bulbs don’t emit heat and use around 90% less energy than incandescent lights. They can also last longer and are more environment-friendly than other light fixtures.
With these simple DIY methods, you don’t have to buy a new AC unit to survive the sweltering heat of the summer.