Summer is on its way and while that does mean longer days, trips to the beach and the possibility of a family vacation, it also means searing heat and a battle to stay cool – particularly in the home.
That’s because summers are getting hotter. 2018 was the fourth hottest summer on record in the United States. The three ahead of it were 2015, 2016 and 2017. As global warming continues to warm the planet, we’re only going to see more records smashed in future years.
All that means that we’re going to have to be even more prepared and creative with the ways in which we try and stay cool during the summer. This is particularly true for those of us whose homes turn into saunas at the first sight of the sun.
Here are sevens ways in which you can keep your cool this summer.
Keep your blinds closed
It might be tempting to open up those blind and curtains to let in all that gorgeous sunlight, but by doing so you’ll be warming up your home as if it were a greenhouse. According to Family Handyman, up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows and utilizing shades, blinds and curtains can reduce indoor temperatures by up to 20 percent. By preventing the sun from entering your house, you’ll be cooling it significantly in the process.
Switch to cotton sheets
Overheating at night is one of the biggest problems that come with the summer months which means you need to be smart in your choice of bed linen. Textiles like flannel sheets and fleece blankets are brilliant for insulation and keeping warm, but in the summer you want to replace them with fabrics that are good at keeping you cool. These include cotton and linen, whilst you can also apply the principle to the clothing you wear during the day with rayon, denim and chambray all being materials with highly breathable properties.
Get your air conditioning unit looked at
There cannot be a more nightmarish scenario than reaching the hottest day of the year, only for your air conditioning unit to decide that’s the moment it wants to break down. One way to try and ensure that doesn’t happen is by making sure it is in good working order before the summer sun arrives with air conditioning maintenance. Get a company such as Patriot Pros, a specialist company in HVAC repair Lone Tree, CO, to give your unit an expert going over, ensuring that it’s in good working order ahead of the heat. Otherwise, it may be time for a new ac installation to be done right before summer.
Heat rises, which means that the rooms higher up in your home are going to become the hottest. That might be bad news if your bedroom is upstairs, but at least if the heat is unbearable during the night, you’ll know you can escape it by heading for lower ground and sleeping on the couch. It’s also why the basement is often the coolest room during the summer, which you can put to your advantage by utilizing it as an additional living space if it’s currently being used for nothing but storage.
Leave interior doors open at night
When the sun is replaced by the moon, the temperature naturally drops, which means that night is the best time in which to try and cool your home. If you shut all your interior doors at night, you’re trapping most of the air inside of each room. By leaving the doors open, you can capitalize on the cooler air by letting it flow naturally around your home, reducing the temperature in the process ahead of the next day.
Stop using the stove
‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’ is a popular phrase and that’s because it is true – the kitchen is hot, and because it’s hot it contributes to the overall temperature of your home. If you use your stove or oven less in the summer, you’ll be creating less heat – the last thing you want, if it feels like it’s 100 degrees in your home, is to stick on an appliance that cooks at 400 degrees. Switch instead to a grill or meals such as salads that don’t require cooking. Or even better – start barbecuing everything.
Focus on your body temperature, not your house
If all else fails, then you can work on lowering your body’s own temperature rather than the house. After all, our ancestors managed to cope without air conditioning or blinds for thousands of years before us. From sipping an icy drink to applying a cold cloth to strong pulse areas like your neck and wrist, there are plenty of ways in which you can cool your body in order to escape the stifling heat of summer.