The heat is here. Summer has arrived like a roaring lion who’s not taking prisoners. It’s hard to stay cool when it’s over a hundred degrees on a daily basis. But don’t fret my friends! Here’s a few easy tips to cool your house and reduce your electric bills during these hot summer days. If your AC is broken or just not working properly, these tips will help!
Mr. Byrd and I closed on our first house a few weeks before we were married at the beginning of the fall. He lived there until we were married and then I moved down from east Texas to join him after the wedding. It was a great starter house. Yes it needed work but slowly but surely we were going to do it.
One thing that neither of us had thought of was when we bought it was that the entire back wall of the house was composed of huge, old single pane windows that would rattle when you closed the doors too hard or when the wind was gusty. It was a two story with a steep roof that slopped up to the second story which had more old windows and no shade from trees.
It seemed perfect. Until our first summer and then we realized that we had problems.
The first few summers we would call the AC people and beg them to come fix the AC. Finally we realized that there was nothing that could be done apart from new windows for the entire hours and re-insulating the entire house. We were newlyweds and soon after new parents. The budget wasn’t there.
Slowly but surely we figured out more tricks to stay cool. Eventually we were able to add solar film to all the windows, recaulk them to reseal the edges and planted a tree to shade the AC unit. My dad also gifted us with a larger AC unit. Slowly but surely we were able to get the house cooler in the summer.
But we still use the tricks that we learned back then to keep our house cooler and our electric bills down now even though we live in a different house.
Today I want to share 4 easy tips with you to keep your house cool and cut down your energy bills:
1. Keep Your Kitchen Cool When Cooking –
When I first figured this out it was a game changer. When you’re having trouble keeping your house cool or maybe it’s just plain hot the last thing you want to do is stand in a kitchen over a hot stove and cook. There’s only so many days in a row that you can eat sandwiches.
When it’s really hot cook meals in a slow-cooker. Not mind blowing? I know but wait…. Put the slow cooker in your garage! It doesn’t have to be in your kitchen, heating up your house! Put it outside where it’s safe from animals but near a plug and you’re set! Put it out in the garage or on the back porch in the morning and in the evening it’s ready to eat in your nice cool kitchen.
2. Black Your House Out –
Close every blind and every drape that you own. Even if it’s a sheer drape that’s for decoration, pull it close!
The darker you can get your house and the more sun you can keep out, the cooler your house will stay. If you have large windows with no blinds, tack up sheets over the windows. Will it be tacky? Yes. Will your house be cooler? Yes. Comfort over design is necessary when it’s over 100 degrees.
3. Use Fans (With Ice) –
This is the simplest tip that will make a huge difference if you’re having trouble cooling down your house. Hopefully you’re already using some stand up fans around your house to circulate the air. Ceiling fans are great but it’s also handy to have stand up fans or box fans as well. You can point them directly where you are sitting or aim them at your bed at night.
Once you have a few different fans, place pitchers full of ice or buckets of very cold salted ice with a little water directly behind the fan. Give it a minute or two but quickly you’ll feel a huge difference. The cool water vapor coming off of the ice will get pushed through the fan and out into the room. If your AC is out and you’re hot, this is an easy way to cool down kids and elderly people quickly.
4. Take Care Of Your AC Unit –
Sometimes AC units have more working against them than for them. Make sure your AC Unit has some shade during the hottest days. You do not want to block any airflow or cover the top of the unit. Placing a large outdoor umbrella at a distance in a way to cast a shade onto the unit will help keep it a little bit cooler.
If your unit is really acting up or on it’s last leg you can place a sprinkler next to it and let the water hit the AC unit for 30 minutes to an hour. It will cool down your until which will in return bring cooler air into your home. Do not do this unless it you’re in a pinch. It is not a way to daily cool your unit but a way to get it a little bit cooler until an AC tech can get to your home.
The good news is that the heat won’t last forever. Yes it can be miserable while it’s here but it will be gone before you know it.
Remember to bring pets inside or give them a shady spot with plenty of cool water during heat waves. Take a minute and call to check up on elderly people in your area or anyone that you know that does not have air conditioning. Hopefully these tips can help you and your family stay cool during these extremely hot days.
Stay safe. Stay cool.