How to Keep Your House Cool this Summer


In the heat of summer, your air conditioning prices can go up as much as the thermometer does. This is doubly true in climates with muggy humidity and long heat waves that can extend from the springtime into the autumn. This raises the question: how can you save on the unnecessary waste of energy and sky-high energy bills, but still manage to avoid melting in a puddle by keeping the house at a bearable temperature?

Let’s take a look at a few tried and true methods for how to avoid heatstroke while keeping bills to a minimum.

Close the blinds

This may sound surprisingly simple, but it works. The radiation from the sun’s rays cause heat and this in turn can heat up the air in the room or, in the case of direct sunlight, make it uncomfortably warm for whoever is in the blast zone. No matter what style of blinds or curtains you have in the windows – Venetian, Persian, vertical, roman, etc. – it’s recommended to close them during the day. The benefit of blinds over curtains is if you want some natural sunlight to still seep through, they do not have to be closed all the way.

Natural ventilation: leave windows and screen doors open

Windows are great portals for natural breezes to come through and cool everything down. Leaving a couple of windows open at opposite sides of a room or house will increase ventilation in a larger amount of space. Screen doors work even better as they are usually larger than windows, and so allow more air to come through. As an added bonus, there is no substitute for crisp, outdoor air to freshen up your living quarters.

DIY cool breeze fans

Speaking of cool, brisk air, a simple hack of your everyday household floor fan can turn mere ventilation into tricking your body that you are on the arctic shore. How do you achieve this magic? Simply grab a bowl – medium to large sizes work best – fill it with ice, or something similarly cold like an ice pack, and angle a fan to blow over it.

Crisp beverages

That brings us on to drinks! While they may not cool down your house, they will cool down your body by lowering your body temperature. So on a hot summer’s day make sure to enjoy an ice cold beverage. As much as you may be craving a lemonade or ginger beer, it’s recommended that you opt for a glass of ice water because you will then be replenishing all the fluids lost from sweating in the heat. Rehydration is really important in hot climes, so if you are enjoying an alcoholic drink instead of water to stave off the heat, make sure to drink plenty of rehydrating fluids to counter the alcohol.

Wear less

This may not work in a more formal setting, but certainly will if you are in the comfort of your own home. Stripping down to a single layer such as a breezy dress or lighter material (not any heavy cottons, for instance) will do the trick. Sleeveless items or ventilation-inviting V-necks are natural choices for warm weather.

Change bedding material

Just as changing the material you wear on your body can provide more ventilation, so too can changing the fabric you lie in when you’re in bed. Simple enough, but again effective. Avoid heavier cottons, flannel or fleece materials for your bedding, especially those with a low thread count if you value comfort. This also has the added benefit of revitalising a room’s decor if you follow a seasonal rotation.

Try sleeping on the verandah

This suggestion might be a bit ‘out there’ for some folks, but if you have a verandah or an outdoor hammock, this configuration won’t be too hard to set up. Simply get a blanket if you have designs to fall asleep in a hammock, or pull out an inflatable air mattress to use on the patio. This is more of a break from the norm on nights where you are tossing and turning just to get to sleep, but even that break from the monotony of sleeping in your room every night can be fun. If you have a yard, you can even set up a tent just like old times to relive your childhood adventures.

Be creative. Be cool

There are a hundred and one ways to stay comfortable in the summer heat. Observing your environment and making use of what is available is key. Just remember to stay hydrated, stay out of the sun, and most importantly, stay cool.