Here’s an example of how NOT to keep your home cool. A few years ago, my upstairs neighbour used to close the windows but leave blinds wide open on the hot summer days. The window air conditioner was going full blast all day while he was at work. Silly and wasteful, don’t you think? He moved out and I bought the place, moving upstairs in the same building. I had it fixed up with new paint and floors, and one of the best things I did was to put cellular blinds on the windows. We don’t use air conditioning. I can’t stand that noisy thing and I’m stubborn about not wasting electricity.
So what can you do with windows and window coverings to keep your home cool in the summer? In the hot part of the day, keep the windows closed and covered with blinds and drapes, blocking the hot sun. That’s where my cellular blinds really help: they have two layers of fabric with a honeycomb structure inside that traps air and insulates. Heavy drapes do the same thing, or even a quilt, especially with windows that are in the full sun. When you need to go in or out of the house, use the door that’s in the shade.
Then as soon as it cools off in the evening, open the windows and doors. Use fans at the open windows to move cool air in one window and out another, creating a nice cross-breeze. If you have more than one floor, remember that hot air rises, so move the hot air out from the upstairs and in from the downstairs windows. We keep one fan going all night. By morning when you go to work or as it warms up, you’ll need to close everything down again.
These are just basic tricks that will save you money and keep your home comfortable even in the hottest part of the summer. We’ll get to other tips later. If you’d like to send in your ideas, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.