It’s definitely hot in the Savannah, GA area…no matter what the calendar says, summer is certainly here! With 100 plus degree days already under our belt, local residents are looking for ways to keep their homes (and themselves) cool without cranking up the A/C to record levels. At Ernest Homes, we’re right there with you – we’re using some of these handy tips to keep our homes more comfortable this summer.
Work Your Windows
One of the most direct paths to an overly warm home is your windows. According to Family Handyman, up to 30 percent of unwanted heat is delivered through your windows. Cut down on transfer of heat through sunlight by investing in insulated, tinted film for your south and west facing windows. You can also try stylish blinds, keeping them closed during the warmest parts of the day. Another great option is blackout drapes in a light neutral color. These curtains come in a wide variety of shades and their thick backings prevent sunlight from entering the room. You know how dark and cool most hotel rooms are, due to the use of blackout curtains. Adopting this trick in your rooms can save you a significant amount on your cooling bills. If you have windows that open from both the top and the bottom, create a cooling wind path by opening the top windows on the downwind side of your house and the bottom windows on the upwind side.
Adapting your sheets and bedcovers to summer weight cotton is a simple and inexpensive way to feel cooler at night. You can add a Chillow to your bed, or swap out your feather or poly-fill pillows for buckwheat pillows. This natural filling leaves plenty of air space between the hulls, allowing body heat to dissipate more easily. Another awesome trick…pop a water bottle into the freezer, and pull it out right before bed. Wrap it in a hand towel and place under your feet when you settle in for the night – you’ll be surprised how cool you’ll feel! You can even lightly mist your sheets with cold water from a spray bottle before climbing into bed, giving you a cool start to the night from head to foot. If you tend to wake up sweating in the middle of the night, try keeping a bucket or basin of water next to your bed while you sleep. Pop a few ice cubes into it, which will melt during the first couple hours of the night. Dipping your feet into cool water can give you a chance to cool down rapidly, allowing you to fall back to sleep. If the evening temperatures drop low enough overnight, open your windows to let in the night air instead of running the A/C.
Be Your Own Greatest Fan
Fans can really help reduce the inside temperature in your home. One of our favorite tricks is to place a bowl of ice or an ice pack in front of a fan, angling it toward the area you want to cool down. It works like a dream! You can set your ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise, and at a higher speed. This creates an air current that will keep you cooler. Another option is to turn on the exhaust fans in your kitchen and your bathroom fans. These small but mighty wonders pull warm and/or moist air out of the rooms quickly.
Make Smart Cooking Choices
This is the time of year to create meals out of doors – grilling can not only provide tasty dining options, it will prevent your house from heating up from the use of stovetops or ovens. Another idea…crock pots! Throw it all in, plug it in, and serve heat-free meals hours later. What could be easier? It’s also easy to make cook-free dishes such as hearty salads, sandwiches and wraps.
If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, it may be time to change over to more efficient lighting sources, such as fluorescent bulbs. Old-school bulbs put off a much greater amount of heat, which can measurably increase the temperature in a room. It’s also smart to run household appliances such as washers and dryers during the cooler hours, as the heat they give off will make it harder to keep your home cool. Investing in a programmable thermostat may also help you make regulating the temperature in your home easier.