Our list of five easy, natural ways to lower your home’s temperature will have you cool, calm and collected, and spending less on your energy bills!
Switch off appliances
Avoid using any electronics or appliances. From fluorescent lights to ovens, dishwashers to televisions, all medium- and large-scale appliances give off heat. When temperatures outside start to soar, you know it’s time to embrace cold salads, sandwiches or making meals on the outdoor grill to avoid building up heat inside the home. Similarly, wait until later to switch on the dishwasher, washing or drying machine, and anything else that emits heat or steam. Even your television contributes to the heat in a room. Have you ever felt the screen after it’s been on for a while? Cut down on electricity as much as you can, it all adds up.
Open windows, drawn blinds
If a cool breeze is blowing outside, it’s a no-brainer to open those windows and coax it in. Likewise, it’s a great idea to open the windows as wide as they’ll go during night time when temperatures tend to be lower (assuming it is safe to do so). As soon as daylight comes around, be sure to close the windows and draw the blinds to minimize the amount of sun’s heat and light that gets inside.
A homemade AC
A DIY air conditioner is not as difficult as it sounds. Simply place a metal bowl of ice on a chair in front of a fan positioned in the corner of a room and adjust it so that the cool air is blown out throughout the room (or directly at you, if you prefer!). Pop a few ice trays in the freezer and have them on rotation so you can always keep refilling the bowl once it starts to melt. And there you have your own DIY air-conditioning option!
Plant shade trees
In addition to their wonderful oxygen-producing abilities, trees are also great for cooling down your home. Larger, leafy trees produce greater amounts of shade and make for super-effective – and totally natural – cooling mechanisms. Deciduous trees are particularly handy as they lose their leaves in winter, thus letting in more sunlight, while creating an umbrella of shade during those sweltering summers.
Often the reason that a home never seems to cool down properly, despite having the air conditioner running, is that there are cracks and gaps in the house letting the hot air in and cool air escape. Use a caulking gun to fill those gaps and prevent the hot air from making a return.
Similarly, have your home’s insulation checked. Another idea is to install lighter-colored terracotta rooves, which are great for insulation and cooling purposes.