7 Ways to Keep Your House Cool
It’s finally officially summer! While we tend to spend more time outdoors, we also tend to use more electricity to keep our houses cool and comfortable. For those with allergies or asthma, opening the windows isn’t always feasible. And when it’s humid, sometimes no amount of fans, open windows, and lemonade can keep us cool. Whether you turn on your air conditioner, here are some simple tips to keep your house cool and comfortable. Try adding one per day for the next week to form the habit and keep it up all summer!
Close The Blinds/Curtains
Before you leave for work, or after you’re done your morning routine, close the blinds or curtains to keep the sun out. This is especially important on south- and west-facing windows where the sun is the strongest.
If you have central air or a split system and don’t have a programmable thermostat, they’re worth the investment. You don’t need the fancy Nest kind (though they do look pretty cool!). You can pick one up from your favourite hardware store. Set and run the program (use the next two tips to set your program). Don’t keep it your thermostat on the “hold” setting at one temperature all the time.
Don’t Crank Down The Temperature
Dropping your thermostat way down won’t cool your house any faster. Try setting it for half a degree cooler than the current temperature if you’re uncomfortable; often the house will feel cooler once some of the moisture is removed, without having to drop the temperature several degrees.
Set The Temperature Higher During The Day When You're Not Home
26-28°C (79-81°F) is a good range. When you are home, don't automatically drop the temperature below 26°C (79°F). Try dropping it half a degree at a time if you’re too warm.
Make Sure Your Filter Is Clean
If you have a furnace, check your filter at the start of each season and change it if it’s dirty. Your furnace has to work harder (and therefore uses more energy) if your filter is clogged.
Avoid The Stove
BBQ or prepare cold salads so you don’t add heat to your kitchen from cooking. You could even take a picnic to a park as your house cools down.
Take Advantage Of Cool Nights
If the humidity drops overnight, turn off the A/C and crank open the windows (if health reasons don’t prevent you from doing so). Fans are great to help circulate the air too. Be sure to close the windows before the day heats up and if you turn your air conditioner back on. Keep the fans running though—they’ll help keep your space cool with and without air conditioning.