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Cool your House, Naturally

There’s nothing like walking out of a summer heat wave and into the frigid comfort of air conditioning. But for some homes, especially those built before the 1950s, AC maybe non-existent. So how do you keep a house cool in the summer without air conditioning?

Here are 10 ways to keep your house cool without AC – starting with the attic.

Vent Your Attic

Attics take the brunt of the heat our homes face during the summer. Your attic is typically 20-30 degrees hotter than the rest of your home. If there isn’t sufficient venting, it will trap a lot of hot air, which can heat up your home. Use an attic fan to improve your ventilation.

Attic fans are typically either gable or roof-mounted. Roof-mounted fans are installed on the exterior of your roof, while gable-mounted fans are installed right onto your existing vents.

Installing gable mount fans is easy, as they are designed to attach to the existing vents of your attic. To install a roof mount attic fan, you’ll need to cut an opening for it – this is a little more work but it creates a tighter seal and stronger suction, which helps cool your attic more efficiently.

Place Box Fans in Windows

Like the attic, your upstairs tends to trap rising heat and using window box fans is a great way to keep a house cool in the summer naturally. When cooling a room with fans in windows, face them outward to vent the hot air out, especially when it’s hotter outside.

Invest in the Right Ceiling Fans

One of the best ways to keep cool without AC is to install ceiling fans. Anywhere people tend to congregate, whether it’s the bedroom, living room or kitchen, those are the spaces where you’re going to get the most benefit from a ceiling fan.

If new fans aren’t in the budget, you can take steps to improve the ones you have. Here are a few maintenance tips for cooling a room with fans more efficiently:

Run Fans Counter-Clockwise: In the summer, run your fans counter-clockwise on their

highest setting to push air straight down and create a wind chill effect. In the winter, set

them back to clockwise on low to slowly force warm air down into the room.

Clean Them Regularly: Keeping your ceiling fan dust-free isn’t just hygienic – it can also

help your fan work better. Dirt on fans can heat up the motor, which can make them run

more slowly.

Polish the Blades: Polishing a fan’s blades can reduce drag, improving its ability to move air. To do this, remove the blades and wipe them down with a damp cloth. Then, dry and coat them with a light furniture or metal polish, depending on the material of your blades. Let completely dry before reinstalling.

Fix Any Wobbling: If your fan is wobbling, it’s working a lot harder than it has to and won’t cool your room down well. Tighten or replace loose screws in your fan, including within the light fixture.

Oil Your Fan: Five to six drops of light machine oil can get rid of annoying squeaking sounds and help the motor run more efficiently. But know that not all fans can be oiled – some motors are completely sealed up. Look up your manufacturer’s guide for instructions on oiling your ceiling fan.

Use Breathable Sheets

Breathable bedding is crucial to a cool night’s sleep. Silk or sateen sheets are light but tend to trap heat – stick to natural bedding materials like cotton or bamboo for lightweight, breezy coverage.

Flush Out Hot Air in the Evenings

Open the tops of windows at night and circulate the fresh, cooler night air inside with ceiling fans. Then in the morning, shut your windows and blinds to trap that cool air in, and then you can start the day off at a much lower temperature.

Draw the Blinds

While natural light is great, too much of it can turn your home into a sauna during the summer months. Draw the blinds during the hottest parts of the day to keep heat out. That will help keep the space cooler.

To double your protection against the sun’s heat, invest in white-backed blackout shades for your largest windows.

Avoid Using the Stove

Using your stove or oven will add unwanted heat to your kitchen. Try to limit your cooking to the early morning and plan dinners that don’t require heating up, like pasta salad or lettuce wraps. For a hot meal without a hot kitchen, try grilling out or using a crockpot.

Add Outdoor Shade

You can keep your house cool in the summer naturally by using shade to block heat from your home. Landscaping with trees can be great for privacy, but it can also keep the sun’s rays off of your house. You can also install awnings to keep the sunlight off of your windows.

Switch to No-Heat Lightbulbs

Incandescent lightbulbs emit a lot of extra heat, so switching to low or no-heat bulbs like compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) is a simple way to keep your house cool in the summer.

If you’ve tried every last house cooling hack and it still feels like you’re walking on the sun, you might want to invest in a whole house fan.

Whole house fans use just ten percent of the energy of a traditional AC unit and are much cheaper to install. Or talk to us about your Ductless options, which you can read about here!

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