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Ways To Keep Your Home Cool Without Air Conditioning

June 2016


Ways to Cool Your home

Feeling the heat theses days? Here are some suggestions to keep cool.

1. Open Windows Strategically   
During the night and early morning the temperature drops, so make sure you open the windows during these times to allow the cooler air in.   Once the outside air starts to warm up in the morning, close your windows up tight & pull the drapes together. If you are leaving for the day, you will want to shut everything up before you go out.  The house will be dark.

2. Reduce And Reflect Sunlight 
Sunshine is wonderful stuff, but it’s your enemy when you want to stay cool. Pulling your drapes/shades close keeps the sunlight from shining into your house. Sunlight contains light, ultraviolet (UV) radiation and infrared radiation (heat). Heat doesn’t travel through glass very quickly, but visible light and UV radiation do. And when they hit air molecules, or solid objects like the floor of your living room, a significant portion of this energy is converted to heat. This mini greenhouse effect is great when it’s cold outside, but not so good when it’s hot.

If living in a cave bums you out and you have some money to spend, you can cover the insides of windows with special film to help block a portion of visible light and UV rays without totally blocking visibility. 

Removable film allows you to take it off during the winter when you want the free solar energy. There are also window shades designed to let you see out but still block most of the direct sunrays. Mesh ones don’t need adjusting; slatted ones may need to be adjusted as the sun moves. 

Replacing your windows may be an option if you have money to spare (and tax incentives may help offset the cost), especially if they are leaky and old.

3. Reduced Body Temp
Focus on the temperature in your body.  From sipping tasty iced drinks to applying a cold cloth to strong-pulsed areas like your neck and wrists, cooling yourself from the inside out is not a bad idea. Other tricks include being smart about your clothing choices. White or pale color cotton fabric works the best during the heat. Cotton breathes and cools your body.  Black & dark color fabric holds your body heat. The same for tight & clinging clothing.  The loose fit clothing is best for cooling your body.

4. Start grilling
Using your oven or stove in the summer will make your house hotter. If it already feels like 100+ degrees in your home, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven. Besides, who doesn’t want to get more mileage out of their outdoor furniture and seasonal accessories?

5. Use portable Fans
You can also use portable fans or ceiling fans to make yourself more comfortable indoors (or even on a porch or patio); the moving air evaporates moisture off your skin and takes some heat with it. Since fans don’t change the temperature of the air—they just cool whoever’s in the breeze—be sure to turn them off when no one is there to enjoy them. While running fans does take electricity, it’s just a fraction of the power an AC unit uses.

Fill a mixing bowl with ice (or something equally cold, like an ice pack) and position it at an angle in front of a large fan, so that the air whips off the ice at an extra-chilled, extra-misty temperature. It’s magic.

6. Use Ceiling Fans
Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise
Whether you know it or not, your ceiling fan needs to be adjusted seasonally. Set counter-clockwise in the summer at a higher speed, the fan’s airflow will create a wind-chill breeze effect that will make you and your guests “feel” cooler.

7. Install Attic Fans
You buy an attic fan that comes with a small solar panel and runs only when the sun shines (which is pretty much when you need it). They’re easy to install, no wiring involved.

8. Be smart about your doors 
Closing off rooms will prevent the cool air from permeating these areas during the hottest part of the day. You’ll want to capitalize on the cooler night hours, too, letting air flow naturally through your home.

9. Plant Trees In The Right Place
Vines, trees, and shrubbery are also great ways of keeping direct sunshine off your house and yard, and they actually work to cool the air, as well! When sunshine hits their living leaves, plants release oxygen, gas, and water. As the water evaporates, it absorbs heat. 

10. Insulate Your House
The fewer air leaks and the more insulation you have, the easier it will be to keep your house cool in the summer (and warm in the winter). Sealing air leaks is often inexpensive and pays off fast in lower energy bills. 

11. Turn on your exhaust fans. 
Turn on the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. Both of these pull the hot air that rises after you cook or take a steamy shower out of your home.

@ Huffington Post 06/24/2014 | Updated Aug 03, 2015 & 
Rodale's Organic Life, Jean Nick, July 13, 1015

Edited by Barbara Allen

  Barbara Allen

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