Easy Summer Cooling Tips

If your home is too hot in the summer, there are many ways you can help keep heat out of your house. Planting trees, for instance, is one of the best ways to diffuse the hot summer sun before it enters your home. But a surprising amount of heat comes from inside your home.

The biggest sources of internal heat gain are lights and appliances. Reducing their use will save electricity and keep your home cooler. In humid climates, moisture that is released by cooking, bathing, and other activities will also make it harder for air conditioners to cool your home. A drier home feels more comfortable.

Here are some easy ways to keep cool in the summer:

  • Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. The electricity used by standard bulbs produces 10 percent light and 90 percent heat. Also, compact fluorescent lights are cheaper to operate.
  • Schedule heat-producing chores like baking or doing the laundry after the hottest part of the day.
  • Install an insulating jacket on your water heater.
  • Use kitchen and bathroom fans to remove heat and moisture during and after cooking and bathing.
  • When replacing appliances, buy those with the Energy Star® label. These appliances conserve energy and release less unwanted heat.
  • If you are home during the day, use a room fan to create a cooling breeze.
  • If you live in an area where evenings are cool, don’t forget about the cheapest cooling method of all. Open your doors and windows, or run window fans. This will move cool evening air through your home for almost no cost.

Chris Dorsi is a nationally recognized expert on energy efficiency.