Thursday, June 5, 2008

Keep your home cooler this summer

At least some of you are having warm weather! It's cold and rainy here today, with a high of 59 predicted. We'll be in the upper 80's by the weekend, though. Good ol' Colorado.

If you're blessed with high temperatures, you might be looking for some ways to keep your home cooler this summer. Think about these things:

Awnings may look old fashioned, but they do help keep the direct sun out.

If you live where it cools off more than just a few degrees at night, turn off the AC, open the windows wide and put some fans to work. This can cool the house thoroughly. If you live where you can, leave the house open overnight then shut everything tight before the temperature rises in the morning.

Use window film where it's appropriate, but remember that it will cut daylight, so if you're using it to keep the hot sun out then have to use artificial lighting, you're defeating yourself. Also, house plants won't thrive when you have window film.

Plant trees and bushes so they shade the house. That can lower the temperature as much as 10 degrees. If you can't plant permanently, use annual vines like morning glories in front of a window to shade it.

Use cool lighting. Incandescent bulbs give off quite a bit of heat. The new energy saving cool bulbs are good, but any kind of fluorescent lighting is cooler than incandescent.

Eat lightly. Avoid heavy meats and go for the salads. For protein, opt for fish, peanut butter, eggs or cheese. Fruit is abundant, so serve it cold. Drink lots of liquids, but avoid caffeine as it can dehydrate you.

Concentrate on keeping yourself and your children, etc., cool, by wearing light weight clothing, avoiding heavy activity during the hottest part of the day, and spritzing your face and neck with water (not cold water, just cool). If you do get overheated, run cool water over the inside of your wrists and ankles, or use a cloth soaked in cool water. This will cool you quickly.

You probably won't be able to use all of them, but use what you can and it will help save on your cooling bill and keep your home cooler this summer.


  1. Good tips! Since I live in an apartment, I have to focus on keeping myself cool, since there's not much I can change about how to keep my apartment cool. I try to keep the air turned off as long as I can, though it's topped 90 here the past few days.

  2. Keeping yourself cool is what it's all about, anyway!

  3. All great tips. Great idea to plant a vining annual in front of windows if you are unable to plant permanent. There are many old homesteads here where I live.Those first homesteaders thought about the angle of the sun in different seasons and built their houses and planted trees accordingly. My house stays pretty cool from all of the shade, although, last winter we had a storm with extreme high winds and one of our trees went down (very sad) so it will be interesting to see how it changes this year. I think I will plant morning glories on that side of the house, or maybe put in a permanent clematis. Anyhoo, I, like you Pat, do not have to worry about it! I'm in eastern Oregon here, lows in the 30's, highs in the 60's all week! And not even any rain to show for it!


  4. We did have some rain, Shawna, but it looks like it's over for now. I hope it doesn't turn hot and dry now. Colorado tends to go to extremes.