Keeping the house cool during a blistering heatwave or just the typical six months that summer lasts along the Gulf Coast can mean more than just flipping the switch on the air conditioner thermostat. A few tips put into place here and there that you may never even think twice about can all add up to a cooler interior environment. The bonus here is that you may be able to save money on the monthly power bill as well.
Put a Lid on It
When you have a pot or a pan cooking on the stovetop, you are increasing not just the heat produced inside the home, but the humidity. And you know the old saying about it being the humidity, right? If you begin to notice that the discomfort level inside the house has a sticky quality to it, then the problem may at least be made unnecessarily worse as a result of what’s cooking in the kitchen. Placing a lid on a pot or pan cooking on the stovetop can reduce the amount of humidity inside the house by reducing the supply of steam into the air. The bonus in this case is that you wind up cutting down on the time and money needed to cook the food because the energy inside the pot or pan is increased. More efficient cooking, money saved and a lower amount of humidity. What are you waiting for? Put a lid on it!
It’s Curtains for You
You’ve got curtains, right? So why aren’t you using them effectively? Every time you part your curtains to leave the window exposed you are letting in heat that is entirely unnecessary. If you find the inside of the house heating up past the level of comfortability, then look around for curtains to draw shut or blinds to close to keep the heat of the sun on the outside where it belongs on a hot, sticky summer day.
Shower with the Windows Open
If your bathroom has a window to the outside that can be opened, then by all means open it when you take a shower. While it normally makes sense to keep windows shut when the air conditioner is blowing hard to keep the house cool, this conventional wisdom is tossed to the side when you step into the shower. The hot water produced by a shower is another aspect of daily life that adds to the level of humidity inside the house. Keep the bathroom door shut and the window open to obstruct steam cleaning from becoming uncomfortably humid air throughout the house.
You just might be surprised as how much cooler a house can become with such an old fashioned element as shady vegetation. A big bushy tree that provides a canopy of shade over a portion of the house will result in noticeably cooler rooms on that side of the home. Look specifically for deciduous trees that will give you the shade you want for cooling in the summer while providing the bare branches you desire to keep the tree from cooling things in the winter.
Open Upstairs Windows
A house with more than one story is another bullet to the brain of conventional wisdom when it comes to open windows in an air conditioned environment. Since hot air rises, you should stay on the lower level during the hottest parts of the day. That’s a gimme, but here’s the real trick. Open up the windows on the highest floor to allow all that rising hot air to escape instead of getting stuck inside the house. This maneuver will effectively increase the efficiency of the air conditioner rather than negative impact it and the upstairs rooms will be less stuffy and uncomfortable when you head up to them as the cooler evening temperatures roll in.