If your house tends to overheat in the summer, you might be dreading the rising temperatures. Before we know it, summer will be upon us and we’ll all be looking for ways to stay cool. There are lots of things you can do to heatproof your home so that it will stay cool and comfortable, no matter how high the mercury rises.
Consider the Building Materials
The materials your home is made of can actually help you keep it cool. Homes made of brick, concrete and stone are easier to keep cool than homes made of wood or other materials. Of course, you can’t easily change the structure of your home, but if you ever decide to add onto your home or add a room, consider using one of these heat-resistant materials.
The materials on your roof can also make a difference, and it’s easier to remodel your roof than your entire home. There are actually specially designed roofs that reflect the sun’s rays and bounce them off your home, keeping it cooler. A roof that is painted a lighter colour will also help keep your home cool.
Use Roof and Wall Insulation
Proper insulation can go a long way when it comes to heat-proofing your home. It’s not uncommon for older homes to have attics or even some walls that aren’t insulated, but you can easily add insulation yourself. You can purchase insulation at your local hardware store and then, wearing proper protection, install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you aren’t sure what kind of insulation your home has, an expert can inspect it and recommend ways to improve it so it will be more efficient when it comes to keeping your home cool.
Opt for Air Conditioning
One of the easiest ways to keep your home cool is to opt for air conditioning. If your home doesn’t have central air, consider having it installed. These systems are very effective and quickly deliver cool air throughout your home so it will stay comfortable all summer.
To make sure your AC works well this year, have it serviced now so you can make any necessary repairs. Be sure to change the filters often and make sure all the vents are clean. It’s also a good idea to make sure your ventilation system is working properly, as leaks can make your AC less effective and even increase your utility bills.
There are lots of options when it comes to air conditioning though. You can use a compact air conditioner if you don’t have central air or as a way to spot cool areas in your home that tend to overheat.
Also, don’t discount the power of a fan! Install ceiling fans to help move hot air out and keep air circulating so your home will feel cooler. Portable fans are a great choice because you can easily move them throughout your home as needed, cooling different areas during the day.
One trick is to open your window just enough to fit the fan inside and then set it up so that it is blowing outside. This way, the fan will blow the hot air out of your home, making it easier to keep it cool inside.
Stop the Heat
Think about the things that heat up inside your home, since they are likely contributing to hot temperatures. Avoid using the oven and even the stove during the summer, as they can both heat up your home very quickly. Instead, use a slow cooker or prepare meals that don’t require much cooking time.
Other appliances that can contribute to the heat in your home include lights, computers and even the washer and dryer. Limit the use of these and run them in the early morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler outside.
Focus on the Windows
Your home’s windows let in a lot of heat, which makes it difficult to keep temperatures down inside. Fortunately, there are lots of adjustments you can make so that your windows don’t keep you from staying cool this summer.
Start by inspecting the window seals and checking to make sure they aren’t broken or cracked. If they are, they are letting the cool air escape from your home, which makes it harder to keep it cool. Then, use longer curtains that you can pull shut to prevent sunlight from shining directly into a room if it is too warm inside. If you can, use curtains with a white backing so the sunlight will bounce off of them instead of entering your home.
If you use blinds, choose honeycomb style blinds. When heat does enter through your window, the shape of these blinds will trap it between the blinds and the glass, preventing it from heating up the room.
Redesign your Landscaping
Now, take your efforts outside and redesign your landscaping to keep your home cool. The best way to do this is to plant large trees or full bushes near your windows to add shade and help block heat-inducing sunlight. You can also add vines outside your home that will creep up and cover areas to help cool them down. You may not be able to create shade instantly, but by planting things now, in a few years you’ll have plenty of shade near your windows.
For more instant results, think potted plants and window boxes. You can arrange pots and plants around your windows, inside or outside, with tall plants to add shade. Window boxes can be filled with tall or full plants to help block sunlight from coming inside.
Keeping your home cool when it’s scorching hot outside isn’t always easy. But, when you consider the materials your home is made of, make some changes to your windows and even work on your landscaping, your home will be virtually heatproof this summer so you can stay cool and comfortable.
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