When temperatures and humidity levels start to rise, it can feel impossible to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This can be especially true if you live somewhere with intense summers, such as Tucson, AZ or Houston, TX.
If not prepared and maintained properly, many homes can’t cope with the intensity of the summer sun and/or humidity. So when extreme heat hits, you’ll want to have a few cooling tricks handy. From quick and easy solutions to more involved projects, here are eight easy tips for keeping a house cool in extreme heat.
1. Use a dehumidifier – A dehumidifier does not lower temperature directly, however, it will filter water out of the air to create a drier space that is cool and comfortable.
2. Replace your light bulbs – Replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs not only lowers your power bill but also keeps your house cooler. That’s because these types of bulbs produce much less heat than standard bulbs while still creating the same amount of light. A typical 100-watt bulb can raise the room temperature by 11 degrees per hour.
3. Unplug your appliances – Every outlet, when it has an appliance plugged into it, will emit a small amount of heat. This may seem trivial, but when you’re fighting to keep your house cool, every degree counts.
4. Cut back on cooking indoors – Heat from cooking will add to the temperature in the house. If you’re struggling with keeping a house cool in extreme heat, consider cooking outside or visiting an air-conditioned restaurant.
5. Block out the sun – To cool down your house, keep the blinds or shades closed from late morning to early evening. Tinted window film or blackout shades can also help keep your house 10-15 degrees cooler.
6. Set your ceiling fan to run counter-clockwise – A ceiling fan can help keep your house cool during the summer. You want your ceiling fan to be blowing downwards to cool the room. Every fan has a directional switch, so be sure yours is set to run counter-clockwise during the summer months.
7. Use a personal fan – If you are sitting in a warm room you can use a personal fan to circulate the air around you and cool off. If the outside temperature is cooler than inside, open the window and place the fan directly in front of it to pull that cooler air in from the outside.
8. Install an air conditioner with a programmable thermostat – Installing a whole-house, window, or room air conditioner with a programmable thermostat will help cool a hot room fast. You can save money when you’re not home by keeping the house a little warmer and then programming the A/C to turn on right before coming home from work. It keeps you comfortable while you’re there and prevents your home from heating up too much while you’re gone.
Taking the time to follow these simple tips can go a long way toward keeping a house cool in extreme heat.