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Keeping the house cool

Flipping on the air conditioner is an automatic response to a hot home. It’s just the easy way to stay comfortable. However, you end up spending a lot of money on energy and burning fossil fuels with an AC, so it’s not great for the wallet or the planet. Instead, try these alternatives for keeping the house cool on summer days.

Room-darkening drapes

An inexpensive way to cool off the home is by adding room-darkening curtains. These thick fabrics come in a variety of colors, but they all perform the same job.

They block the incoming light with almost no bleed through into the interior. Room-darkening curtains can take the interior temperature down a few degrees when they’re pulled closed.

Be aware that they can make a room too dark at times though. If that’s a problem you’re having with them, use sheer curtains underneath when you want some light coming into the residence.

Having some natural light stream into the room is good idea for your mental health.

Keeping the house cool with patio shades

Retractable patio shades from Shade-Outdoor Living Solutions or another reputable source are a great way to stay cool while minimizing the impact on the home’s aesthetic.

It’s best to install the shades on the south-facing side of the home. They can then drop down when the afternoon heat is going strong.

The shades pull right up as the evening arrives. They can either be manual or motorized patio shades Austin. Either product will cool the home and add value to the property at the same time.

Dense trees

Another natural way to cool the home is by planting strategic trees in the yard. Look for plants that have dense leaves or pine needles. The idea is to shade the home with the tree’s shade.

If planting trees isn’t possible, consider potted varieties instead. They can still provide some shade without becoming a major landscape project.

For places where you want the warmth in the winter, try deciduous trees that lose the leaves in the winter. The leaves can return in the spring and summer, when shade is needed.

Venting the attic

An area that’s often overlooked is the attic. Without proper ventilation, trapped hot air will impact the living spaces below.

For keeping the living quarters cool, install venting within the attic so that hot air can escape without compromising the waterproof barrier. The home can be noticeably cooler as a result.

Another idea is to finish the attic by adding insulation to the walls and ceiling. It won’t be too hot in this space, and the rest of the home will moderate its temperature in response.

If the temperatures are scorching, running the AC may be your only choice, particularly if you’re uncomfortably pregnant in summer. If so then consider smart thermostats as a way to curb the expenses.

These devices give you control over the temperatures even if you leave home. Keep your home cool and environmentally healthy with smart tips for every warm day.

Your thoughts on keeping the house cool

What are some other ways to stay comfortable on hot, sticky days?

25 thoughts on “Keeping the house cool: Alternatives to running the air conditioner”

  1. These are great ideas. The only air conditioner I have is the portable one I bought. I barely use it though and just brave the heat to avoid an expensive bill. I have thought of the dark drapes because a lot of heat travels through my windows. I live in an condo. Great tips

    1. We’re in a condo too, hoping to move into a house next year. It’s impressive how well a condo keeps in heat, which is awesome in winter for keeping the heating bills down ;) You’re saving yourself a lot of money by the way by only using the AC rarely.

  2. The place I’m living in is what’s called a “passive solar design”. The walls are thick adobe and they keep it cool in the summer (i close the windows when it starts heating up, and open them during our cooler evenings). Rarely do I feel like I have to turn on the a/c. Also, I turn off lights and unplug the appliances that don’t need to be plugged in. Which may be a little preference choice, over actually keeping the house cooler, but it feels like it… Here’s the link about New Mexico’s passive solar design (designed the place I live in): (William Lumpkins)

  3. You mention many good advice here, Christy :-)
    It is hot here in Spain, where I live. I don’t have AC, so it is a challenge both to get daylight enough and in same time to cool all a little down, when it is most hot.
    I’m in for most possible daylight, otherwise I feel easily depressed, so not an easy task.

  4. Great tips, I can imagine AC becoming rather costly in warm places (I wish we had the need to use it in the UK!) I hadn’t actually thought about venting the attic before and how that can impact the warm of the rooms below so I’ve learned something there.
    Caz xx

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