As the calendar moves into the summer months, the temperature heats up. It is a good idea to start making preparations. If you can find ways to cool out the house without relying on air conditioning, you can save money while creating a cool natural environment in your home. Here are some tips to help you survive the heat in comfort.
- Attach awnings to your home over your windows, especially on the west and east side where the sun will face.
- Paint your roof and sides of your home a light color to keep it cooler.
- Install solar panels on your roof to reduce the heat absorption.
- Make sure your home is well insulated. Check the rating to ensure that you have the highest R-value that fits in your budget. Make sure it has a reflective layer as well as a thermal layer to reflect the sunlight and also keep your house cool once the temperature drops at night.
- Create areas of ventilation throughout the house, especially from the north and south to allow the winds to blow through and cool out the house in the evenings.
- Make sure there is ventilation in the roof space to draw out the heat.
- Use horizontal overhangs on the north and south sides of your home to keep walls shaded. Make it vertical for the east and west sides to prevent direct sun exposure.
- Use plants and trees to protect your home from the direct sunlight. Plant tall trees on the east and west side and low bushes on the north and south to cool out the air that comes in your home from cross-ventilation.
- Only use energy-efficient lighting to keep from heating up the indoor area of your home.
Change the Function of Your Home
Reorganize your home with temperature as the prevailing consideration. For instance, close off unused rooms on the west side of the house. Move into bedrooms in other areas if you have the option. When designing a new home or adding onto an existing house, consider putting utility rooms, laundry and other lesser-used rooms on the west side and making your living space in the cooler part of the house.
- Spend more time outside in the evenings by creating outdoor living areas. Open windows overnight to let the cooler air inside.
- Increase air circulation throughout your home. Move large furniture that may block airflow. If you are willing to tackle a big project, you can even remove portions of interior walls to open up a space and increase airflow.
- Install more ceiling fans to increase circulation throughout the home. If you don’t have an overhang on east and west windows, cover them from the inside to keep the hot sun from getting in. It also helps prevent the cool air from the night before from escaping too quickly.
Keep your home cool and enjoy life all summer with a lower HECO bill.
Try these tips and you can even save money and the environment by not using the air conditioner to cool out your house.