Climate change is affecting temperatures worldwide, but certain climates aren’t as prepared for heatwaves as others. Many properties are not built for coping with periods of extreme heat. So homeowners or tenants struggle to keep cool during the summer heat. Here’s how to make a house cooler, for free!
Looking to just cool down part of your home, and fast? Use fans!
Fans can simply move the hot air around if not used correctly. So location is key. To effectively cool rooms down, create a cross breeze. Find the coolest part of the house and set up the fan at an angle in order to move the cool air to the warmest part.
Or, set up in front of an open window that faces a direction shaded from the sun. When the heat is at its peak, place a bowl of ice at an angle in front of the fan so that as the ice melts, the cool air is circulated around the room.
Also, if a ceiling fan is installed using this anti-clockwise instead of clockwise, the effectiveness of moving air to create a breeze is improved too.
(Great tips so far, huh?? Plenty more to come!!)
How To Make A House Colder: House Investments To Make
Want to make a house colder…like, for real? It may be time to put some money into your house.
While these investments will cost money upfront, they can save you hundreds (and even thousands) in AC bills over the years.
Here’s how to make a house cooler with a few key investments.
Upgrade Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs can emit heat when in use, wasting energy and increasing the internal temperature further. By switching to LED light bulbs, you’ll help keep the property cool. And, you’ll also decrease the household energy bills.
Insulation has two purposes:
- Stopping the internally generated heat from escaping, and
- Creating a barrier to minimize the heat entering a property in the warmer months.
Loft insulation is often the first internal barrier that reduces the heat that has been captured by the roof.
It’s also recommended that households check that loft insulation is installed within the property. If so, check the depth installed.
The National Insulation Association recommend that loft insulation should be:
- 270 millimeters thick for glass wool type of insulation.
- 250 millimeters thick for rock wool type of insulation.
- And, 220 millimeters thick for cellulose type of insulation.
If the loft is easily accessible, it should be easy to install yourself. There is plenty of guidance and step-by-step videos available online, plus DIY stores can provide help with suitable materials.
Another area to review for insulation requirements is the heating system. Any exposed hot water pipework or water tanks can allow excess heat from the water heater to spread.
Related: How to Build a Green Home For Less
If you don’t have an AC unit, try these investments!
Draft Proof The Property
If a property is drafty due to gaps in and around external doors and windows, the hot summer air will get in.
As energyguide.org.uk explains there is a range of draft-proofing steps that can be fairly cost-effective.
- filling gaps with appropriate fillers or sealants,
- installing letterbox protectors,
- or draft stoppers at the base of doors.
Install Window Films
Another layer of protection from the sun rays can be added to a property with the addition of window film. The film is applied to the inside of windowpanes and allows light to flow into the property. It reflects the heat so that the property stays cooler.
The film varies in cost depending on the supplier or if you are installing it yourself. There are plenty of video guides online that demonstrate how to install the film.
Purchase a Cooling Pillow
Technological advances have been made in fabrics that create cooling benefits. Cooling pillows or other bedding are now available, so give them a try!
While the above investments can certainly help keep your house cooler, there are other things you can try as well. Here’s how to make a house cooler naturally.
Keep Doors and Windows Closed and Covered
The easiest step to keep rooms cool without air conditioning is to shut all doors and windows and close the curtains and blinds to keep out the warm sunlight.
If budgets allow, investing in blackout curtains can help to completely minimize the sunlight coming in.
Related: Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills
Open Windows When Temperatures Drop At Night
External temperatures may drop at night, which can aid in household cooling. If temperatures in your area drop at night, open the windows and doors to let the cooler air into the property. Just remember to keep the property secure and close all of the windows and doors before the heat begins to build again.
Choose Cotton Sheets
In preparation for warmer nights, check through your bedding and choose any cotton sheets. The natural material is more lightweight and breathable than man-made alternatives. This helps keep you cooler, for longer.
Use Extraction Fans
If the property has extraction fans fitted in the kitchen or bathroom, these can be run for a few minutes to expel the hot, humid air. Once they’ve done that, you can replace this hot air with cool air. Just open a window in the cooler hours of the day or try the ice hack discussed earlier in this article.
Shut Doors to Unused Rooms
In order to keep the room that you’re in cool, shut doors to any unused rooms. This directs the air into your room and helps repel heat, especially if the other rooms are sun-facing.
Need a few more tips on how to make a house cooler, especially in extreme heat? Here’s even MORE tips!!
Plan When to Undertake Chores
Unfortunately, household tasks still need to be undertaken, even during heatwaves. So reduce household chores to a minimum during the peak of the warm weather. Instead, undertake the essential ones during the cooler hours of the day.
Also, consider reducing the temperature of your washing machines and dishwashers so that they can save energy, and produce less excess heat.
Alter Your Eating Habits
Unfortunately, using an oven and stove to cook meals will generate heat within the kitchen. This is then distributed around the home. Instead, switch to cold meals (like salads) or cook outside on a grill or campfire stove.
Unplug Unused Electrical Devices
Electrical devices can generate heat, even when not in use. This is especially true for older models since they tend to be inefficient compared to newer creations. So it’s recommended to unplug any devices while they’re not being used to keep the property cool and save energy.
Apply Cooling Towels or Take a Cold Shower
And finally, if the heat gets too much, you can apply ice-cold towels to your neck and wrists for a cooling effect. Or, you can get some full-body relief by taking a cold shower!
Did you know that you can use PV solar and connect it to your heat pump or HVAC system to create free energy? This means that you can cool your house without using electricity.
Obviously, that largely depends on your ability to pay the upfront costs for a new solar installation. But if you plan on living “off-grid”, it could easily pay for itself, depending on where you reside of course.
How To Make A House Cooler: It’s Easier Than You Think!
In the US, along with many countries around the world, extreme weather is becoming all too familiar. However, installing air conditioning may not be practical or affordable for every household. And even when it is an option, the electricity costs and carbon footprint won’t be easy.
Now you know how to keep your home cool, no matter the weather and budget you have!
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a strategy consultant and course launching expert. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or crying over This Is Us, you'll find her teaching other mompreneurs how to scale their business without scaling their workload.