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5 Sustainable Ways to Keep Your Home Cool
August 27 – September 09, 2020
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ceiling fan

Even though it’s August, summer isn’t over. That means high heat and humidity for at least one more month. It’s not always easy to stay cool — especially if you don’t have an AC unit to provide relief on 90-degree days. Fortunately, you can use other methods that won’t hurt your bank account. They’re a lot better for the planet, too.

Here are a few eco-friendly ways to avoid the heat.

1. Try New Window Treatments

Any windows that face south receive intense sunlight throughout the day. It’s essential to block out additional heat if you want to keep those rooms cool — and sunlight equals heat. That’s why window treatments provide a handy way to provide shade indoors. You can try exterior blinds or shutters as a way to keep away sunlight and provide a breeze. Indoor drapes or curtains offer a similar effect.

Only keep your window treatments closed when it’s hottest. You can then open them when it’s cooler to increase airflow. This idea shouldn’t be overly expensive, as you can consider this an investment for winter, too. Your window treatments will keep out cold air as much as they keep out hot air.

2. Reverse Ceiling Fan Settings

Your ceiling fans should spin differently each season. When it’s cold outside, you’ll want to redirect warm heat that’s gathered by your ceiling back down toward you. Do the opposite when it’s hot. This adjustment will help improve air circulation throughout your home so that each room distributes cool air evenly. To try this approach, you’ll want to switch your fans to a counterclockwise or “reverse” motion.

Because all fans differ, it’s necessary to take a look at your specific version’s settings. Your fans may have a specific way to achieve this mode.

3. Install Higher-Efficiency AC Unit

It may be time to upgrade your AC unit if your house seems warmer than usual. A 15- to 20-year-old unit won’t have as much power or effectiveness as a newer model. It’s essential to choose a high-efficiency version so that you can save on your bill, as well as contribute to fewer carbon outputs. If you feel like a new unit isn’t viable for financial reasons, it’s possible to pursue government tax credits to make this purchase more affordable.

This investment will help both money- and energy-wise. As a result, you’ll be able to enjoy a cool home for years to come. If you’re unsure whether your current unit needs an update, it’s wise to have a professional take a look. You can make a more informed choice this way.

4. Plant a Little Outdoor Greenery

A summer garden project may be an effective way to keep your house cool naturally. Plants like vines and trees may take a few seasons to grow. That said, you’ll find this endeavor pays dividends when they’ve fully blossomed. You can even try various tall shrubs near walkways or other sections to provide shade for your house. Consider a few windowsill plants to block out extra sunlight indoors.

If you put together a plan for an outdoor garden, it’ll be easier to make sure your house stays cool for summers to come. It’s also smart to establish greenery so that your home maintains nearby ecosystems. A home with several different outdoor plants creates a more sustainable atmosphere for bugs and animals alike.
When you use your oven, microwave, crockpot or dryer, it’s not long before those spaces feel a lot warmer. That’s why it’s crucial to think about when you use those appliances.
5. Use Appliances at Certain Times

There are a few low effort tricks you can use to make your home cooler. Many appliances can raise your house’s temperature. When you use your oven, microwave, crockpot or dryer, it’s not long before those spaces feel a lot warmer. That’s why it’s crucial to think about when you use those appliances. Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to avoid them as long as you prepare.

Try not to cook meals until it’s cooler outside. Instead, you could eat salads and sandwiches. The same idea applies to laundry. A basement laundry room may not contribute to much heat. But a laundry room on your first floor should only be used at night. You may even want to skip your dryer to line-dry your clothes — it’s summer after all. Either way, it’s best to avoid any appliances that emit heat.

Explore These Tips to Avoid Heat Every Summer
A few straightforward steps can make your house an oasis all summer long. Try these ideas to create a cool home environment that helps both you and the planet.
This article is from EarthTalk, a California-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which survives on your donations.

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