Eco-friendly ways to keep your home cool in summer
Cooling your home over the summer months doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are many cost effective and more eco-friendly solutions you can use to help cool down your home and protect the environment at the same time.
Ceiling fans as an alternative to air conditioning
Ceiling fans are an ideal way to cool your home. Not only are they far cheaper to run than air conditioning units, but they are also a lot safer on the environment.
Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise in summer to push air straight down helping to create a cooling effect and clockwise in winter to pull cool air up. In warmer weather, set the fan speed high and in cooler weather it works best on low. Ceiling fans can also be used to complement other cooling types, so checking they rotate in the correct direction can make a world of difference to the temperature of your home.
The best part about ceiling fans is that they are available in a range of styles and finishes to suit your home and interior design. Keep in mind that in general, the fans that are more elaborate or ornate in their design move less air and are therefore less efficient since they need more power.
Block out the heat
You can easily control a large amount of the heat coming into your home just through the windows. Keeping your blinds closed, especially on north and west-facing windows, will significantly cool your home. Better yet, invest in some block-out curtains to shield your home from that harsh summer sun. Another alternative is to double-glaze your windows. This can prevent extreme heat from entering your home, and using curtains with a white back will reflect even more sun away from the home. Shutters or external blinds are another way to keep unwanted heat outside, as they’ll provide your home with ventilation and shading at the same time.
When most people think about eco-friendly alternatives to cool their home, they often neglect to realize the importance and effectiveness plants can have in producing a cooler space over summer. Houseplants absorb warm air, releasing oxygen and cool moisture into the air, as well as providing physical shade from the sun.
Outdoors, planting the right trees can conserve energy and reduce your power bills. Look to large deciduous trees for their heavy canopies over summer months (for heightened shade & cooling) and fall-off during the winter months (for light and warmth). These trees can be planted south of your home to provide maximum roof shading. Smaller trees should be placed to the west of your home to protect from the lower afternoon sun.
Close doors and seal gaps
Close doors to rooms you aren’t using to keep cool air where you need it most. Seal gaps around doors and windows, and use draught excluders to ensure the cool air can’t escape. Closing off unused rooms will prevent cool air from permeating these areas during the hottest part of the day. You’ll want to capitalize on the cooler night hours, too, letting air flow naturally through your home.
In the summer, be sure to choose your cooking times appropriately. Using your oven or stove in the summer will make your house hotter. If it already feels too hot in your home, the last thing you want to do is turn on an 180 degree oven. By choosing to eat more fresh food during the day and do your cooking in the evenings, you’ll create less heat in your home when the sun is at its strongest. Cooking outside is another way to go.
When it comes to laundry, during the summer, nature is quick to dry your washing. Therefore, there’s no need to use the dryer. Just thinking logically about how you’re using heat-generating appliances such as this will enable you to avoid unnecessary heat accumulation in your home.
There are so many easy, cost effective and even free solutions to keeping your home cool when the weather warms up. Many are simple changes you can make that are also eco-friendly and will help preserve the environment.
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