If the summer temperatures haven’t yet reached your Goldsboro, North Carolina home, they surely will soon. We’ve put together some tips to help you keep your house cool without turning on your air conditioning. You can keep your home cool and energy-efficient this summer with techniques like closing window shades, changing bed linens and maintaining your HVAC system. Using the following techniques can keep your house cool without turning on your air conditioner, which can help you to save money on your monthly energy bills.
Close Window Shades
One of the easiest ways to keep your home cool in the summer is to close your window shades. Closing your shade, drapes, or curtains can save you up to 7 percent on your energy bills and keep rooms up to 20 degrees cooler.
Keep shades closed on the south and west-facing windows as they receive direct sunlight during the day, which can superheat your house.
Turn On Ceiling Fans
The next easiest way to keep your house cool in the summer without turning on your air conditioner is to use your ceiling fans. Many homeowners may not know this point, but ceiling fans are seasonal. When the weather outside is cool, you want your fan to spin clockwise, pushing warm air down toward the floor. When the weather outside is hot, you want your fan to spin counterclockwise. Most fans have a small switch on the side of their housing to change the fan blade direction.
The counterclockwise motion pushes warm air toward the ceiling and circulates cold air toward the floor. This movement of air will keep your home cooler during the summer.
Buy a Box Fan
A box fan may seem to be an old-fashioned appliance, but a fan can be a great asset when you’re trying to save some energy and keep your home cool. You can use a box fan in many ways when trying to cool your home.
You can use the box fan to blow warm air out of an open window or to blow cool air around your house. Some clever folks place a bowl of ice cubes in front of their box fans to make their own form of an air conditioner.
Use a box fan to keep the air moving and make your home feel cooler.
Go For Cotton
The material that you choose for your sheets is important. When choosing your summer sheets, look for cotton. Silk, flannel and satin sheets will feel much more uncomfortable on summer nights than cotton sheets.
Switch to Cool Sheets
If you’re open to trying new ways to stay cool in the summer, consider tossing your sheets in a plastic bag and then placing them in the freezer for 30 minutes. The cool won’t last all night long, but the feeling will certainly be refreshing as you climb into bed.
If you’re looking for a longer-lasting cool while you sleep, wet your top sheet before you climb into bed. This trick comes from the ancient Egyptians. Make sure to wring out your sheet so that it’s not dripping wet and have a sheet over your mattress to prevent the water from seeping into the mattress. The wet sheet will create an evaporative process to make you feel cooler all night long.
If you’re not into sleeping under a wet sheet, consider hanging a wet sheet in front of a fan or open window. The cool evening breeze will catch the evaporating water and send cool air into your home. Temperatures typically drop at night, so an open window in the evening is likely nicer than during the afternoon.
Dress for the Weather
When you’re home during the day, make sure to dress for the weather. If you’re resisting the urge to turn on your air conditioner, make sure to wear loose-fitting, lightweight cotton clothing. This is an important point when choosing your summer sleepwear.
Create a Cross Breeze
If you’re not turning on the air conditioner, open your windows. You can create a cross breeze through your home by opening windows that are across the house or room from each other. The breeze will float through your house making it feel cooler. This tip works only when you have a breeze when your air conditioner is completely off and temperatures are not blistering outside.
It’s OK to turn on your air conditioner. We get it; it’s hot outside. If you’re running your energy-efficient HVAC unit, but you want to reduce your energy use, close the doors to rooms that you don’t often use. Cool only the areas of the house you use regularly to save yourself some money and keep your home more comfortable.
Do a Pulse Check
Place a cool cloth or an ice cube on your pulse points, your wrists or your neck. You’ll be amazed by how quickly you’ll feel cooler. You can also take a damp cloth and hang it around your neck to keep yourself comfortable throughout the day.
Consider Your Cooking Choices
We all know that the summertime is the perfect time for having friends over and cooking on the grill. You might not realize though that grilling is another way to keep your house cool during the summer. Using your oven can quickly heat up your home, so try to use your oven as little as possible.
Take a Cold Shower
Take a cold shower before bed to rinse off the sweat of the day and lower your core body temperature. This shower can help you to get a good night’s sleep.
Get Grains for Your Bed
While slightly strange, you can use grains to keep yourself cooler at night. Create a cold pack for yourself by filling an old sock with rice and placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes. You can use this cold pack any time of the day, but it’s especially helpful at night.
If you’re looking for some more grains to keep yourself cool, try a buckwheat pillow instead of a traditional pillow. The buckwheat hulls stay cooler all night because more air spaces exist between the particles.
Use Exhaust Fans
Each home has spots that are prone to being hot. Use your exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to remove excess heat and humidity after showering and cooking.
With high temperatures outside, humidity in your home can make the air inside feel hotter and stickier than it is. Exhaust fans help push warm air out of your house and back outside.
Upgrade Your Landscaping
Although this idea is a more long-term solution, landscaping will help to make your home a more energy-efficient place over time. Planting trees and bushes around your home will help reduce your home’s exposure to the sun. This reduced sun exposure can keep your home cooler during the summer.
You should also consider which side of your home gets exposed to the afternoon sun when the sun is the hottest. Planting bushes on this side of your home will greatly improve your energy efficiency.
Invest in More Insulation
Another long-term solution to improving your energy efficiency and going longer without turning on your air conditioner in the summer is to invest in more insulation. A well-insulated home will take a longer time to heat up with high temperatures outside. Insulation keeps conditioned air in and outdoor air outside.
Check Your Envelope
We don’t mean the one in your mailbox, but the seal of your home. All of your home’s windows and doors present the possibility for leaks. To keep your home an energy-efficient space, turn off the air conditioner as long as possible, your home needs to be well-sealed. This seal helps to keep the inside of your home cool by blocking the warm outdoor air from entering.
Proper maintenance of your HVAC system can keep your system running efficiently so that when you have to turn on the air conditioner this summer, you can still maintain reasonable energy bills. Make sure to change your HVAC system air filters, set your programmable thermostat, use an Energy Star–rated HVAC system and schedule your annual maintenance.
If you’re in need of an HVAC tune-up or have questions about your home’s energy efficiency, don’t hesitate to reach out to Carolina Comfort Air at 919-879-2106. Our trained technicians are available to answer your questions and help you to keep your home comfortable year-round.