The summer is for enjoying the outdoors. But you own a home you love and have put a lot of work into making it a great place to be, so what about those really hot afternoons where you’d rather stay indoors? There are plenty of great ways to enjoy sunny days from inside your home, as long as you plan ahead for the heat and make a few adjustments to stay cool without spending too much on energy.
Here are five quick and easy tips to actually enjoy your home on the hottest days. Just because the sun is shining doesn’t mean you have to avoid your house. Here’s how to keep your home cool and keep it comfortable during the dog days.
1. Install ceiling fans
Moving air through your home is the best way to keep it cool and fresh on hot days. Ceiling fans are the fastest and cheapest way to do just that. They’re not as hard to install as you may think, especially if there are existing light fixtures to replace. Just make sure to use a ceiling fan that can rotate both clockwise and counterclockwise because you’ll want air traveling upward in the summer and downward in the winter.
2. Put up window film
Not only does heat-reducing, reflective window film give your windows that high-end, glossy finish but they keep cool air in and warm air out (and vice versa in the cold months). It doesn’t require any tools to install and it’s easy to find. And at around a dollar per square foot, it might be the most cost-effective way of regulating your home’s indoor temperature.
3. Open your inside doors
Keep air circulating throughout your home so it doesn’t heat up and stagnate. Do this by keeping doors open within your home so air moves from one room to the next. Air is always looking to expand to bigger and smaller spaces as it heats up and cools off so you can create currents through your home with some strategically opened doors.
4. Learn when to use your AC
Remember physics class. Hot air wants to cool off and will seek colder areas to expand into. If you keep your AC on all day, it’ll work overtime as hot air tries to get in and enjoy that breeze, too. During the day, let the thermostat rise into the 70s—it’s not too hot for pets but it won’t attract hot air. Then, when it’s time to sleep, let the thermostat drop so it’s naturally cool by the morning. Take the guesswork out of it with a programmable or smart thermostat.
5. Ask for an energy audit
Your local utility company should be able to provide you and your home with an energy audit for no or low costs. They’ll search for all the nooks and crannies where your home is losing cool air or letting in hot. Cracks in the door, loosely-sealed windows, and outdated insulation could all be culprits. Some utilities will even provide you with rebates or discounts if you take their advice and make the necessary changes.