Feeling the summer heat yet? It’s tempting to crank the A/C all the way up but that’ll just jack up your bills. If you’ve been soaking wet from sweat through your clothes all day or all night long, then maybe it’s time to update your small apartment to cool things down! Thankfully, there are so many ways of keeping your home nice and cool all summer long without spending more. Try these tips:
Open and Close the Windows at the Right Time
Opening and closing your windows at the right time could cool down the indoor temperature by up to 20 degrees! You might think that daytime is the best time to open the windows but you’d be surprised, it does the exact opposite.
Opening the windows during the day could introduce unwanted heat into your small apartment. This goes especially for south or west-facing windows! I suggest keeping the windows (including the blinds/curtains) closed during the day and then opening them at nighttime. At night, keep the windows open so the nighttime breeze cools your home.
Keep All Doors Open
Another simple way to increase the airflow in a room while cooling the interior temperature down is to keep all doors open day or night. Obstructions in a home – such as doors – tend to trap muggy air inside while blocking cool air from the outside. By opening all the doors, the cool breeze flows into your home naturally!
Decorate with Houseplants
Did you know that decorating your home with houseplants is a great way to keep your home cool this summer? That’s right, houseplants absorb warm air and sunlight, decreasing the indoor temperature by up to 10 degrees. This goes especially if you set the potted plants in places that get a lot of sunlight. The potted plants could block the sunlight that’s flooding and heating up your home.
Houseplants release moisture that boosts indoor humidity by up to 30% to 60%, keeping wooden structures from cracking or drying out due to intense heat. Finally, houseplants lose water during transpiration, which purifies the air while keeping the indoor temperature cool and comfortable. Some of the best houseplants to use to cool down your home include aloe vera, snakeskin plant, and weeping fig.
Invest in Blackout Curtains
Blackout curtains are more expensive than ordinary curtains but for many reasons. For one thing, these products block sunlight that heats up the home. In addition, blackout curtains insulate the home, retaining the coolness of the room for longer. This allows you to save more on electricity. When shopping around for blackout curtains, always choose those in neutral shades.
Research shows that neutral-colored blackout curtains with white plastic backing could reduce heat gain by a whopping 33%. Dark colors tend to retain heat so using dark-colored curtains will only add up to the sweltering heat.
The Right Bedding Material
You lose 200 milliliters of water per eight hours of sleep through perspiration, which means by morning, your bed sheets are soaking with sweat. Change your bed sheets as often as possible during the summer months. But don’t use el cheapo sheets that leave the skin itchy, use bed sheets made of pure cotton.
The cotton material wicks moisture away from the body, allowing you to stay cool and comfortable despite the punishing heat. In addition, the material is breathable because it doesn’t retain body heat. If the budget allows, pair your cotton bed sheets with buckwheat pillows. Just like cotton material, buckwheat hulls promote proper air circulation, which cools the body down.
Run Fans to the Right
Who knew that running your electric fans counter-clockwise makes a world of a difference to a room’s temperature? Running your fans to the right at a higher speed creates a wind-chill breeze effect that cools the room. This happens when the fan blades pull the cool air downwards.
On the other hand, there won’t be much air movement when the fan blades are running in the opposite direction. You’re only wasting energy this way (and sweating like a pig!)
Turn an Electric Fan into an A/C
Here’s a neat trick that’ll turn an ordinary electric fan into an A/C: put a bowl of ice in front of the fan and enjoy the cool breeze! The bowl of ice helps cool down the breeze that the fan is producing, decreasing the interior temperature by several degrees.
For this trick to work, the bowl of ice cubes should be level with the fan. The height of the electric fan can be adjusted or you can simply tilt the fan to the right direction. Apart from a bowl of ice cubes, you can also use an ice pack and anything equally cold.
DIY Wind Tunnel
If sleeping is uncomfortable at night, you can increase the airflow in the bedroom by creating a wind-tunnel effect. Just set one of your electric fan on the side of the bedroom that gets the most wind and another one facing the opposite end of the room.
This trick will maximize and enhance the nighttime winds while also cooling the room thanks to the stronger breeze!
Use Energy-Efficient Bulbs
Bad news for those who are still using incandescent light bulbs, these bulbs produce heat that makes an already warm room feel even warmer in the summer season. Also, these bulbs consume more energy, which means you’ll be paying more for electricity.
Switching to LEDs and compact fluorescents will help cool your home without wasting electricity. Better swap your old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs or compact fluorescents before the summer season to ensure a cool, comfortable, and more importantly, energy-efficient home.
Turn Off Your Electric Devices
Speaking of home items that produce excessive heat, common electronic devices – such as TVs, computers, etc., – could heat up the home and make warmer temps feel even worse during the summer season.
When these home appliances are switched on all at the same time, the A/C is working much harder to cool your home. To maximize the cooling power of your A/C, turn off your electric devices when you are not using them. Better yet, keep any heat-producing home appliances away from your AC thermostat.