How to Keep Your Home Cooler this Summer

Extreme weather patterns can result in extended summer heat waves, so it makes sense to consider ways to keep your home cool without relying only on your air conditioning. Using venetian or solid blinds to control the amount of sunlight exposure in a room can be a very easy way to keep your home cooler without spending energy. In particular, consider covering windows that face west, as they will generate heat from intense afternoon sunlight.

If you spend most of your time in only one or two rooms, consider single-room air conditioning or portable fans to lower the temperature where needed without using expensive central AC to cool unused space. Likewise, install ceiling fans to draw air up from the cooler floor level. (In the winter, a reverse motor drive or adjustable blades can draw rising heated air back down to living spaces.) If possible, consider low-energy lighting, outdoor cooking, and installing exterior awnings over windows with significant sun exposure. For houses, planting fast-growing deciduous trees can provide additional shade in future summers (and let the sun shine through during winters).