While many people look forward to warmer days during the summertime, temperatures can also rise to uncomfortable levels in Greenwood, IN, and the surrounding neighborhoods. For instance, Greenwood can reach upwards of 90 degrees Fahrenheit on certain days. And while an AC is a quick fix for such a problem, it may not always be available. You might be trying to save on electric bills and avoid having to run your AC 24/7. Or, your current AC unit may have problems that need fixing. Whatever the reason is, use these 14 tips to keep you and your family cool indoors without the need for an air conditioning unit.
1. Change the Way You Cook
Cooking meals on your stovetop burner or in the oven can produce significant amounts of heat that will continue to linger hours after you’ve finished cooking your meal. Keep your home cool by doing more of the cooking outdoors or during off-peak hours, like early morning or late evening. You can also choose to eat meals that don’t require cooking at all, like cold sandwiches or garden salads. If you do use the stove, turn on the ventilator fan to draw the hot air out of your home.
2. Change the Way You Wash Items
Similar to cooking, running your dishwasher or clothes dryer can emit large amounts of heat indoors. You’ll want to leave these activities for either early morning or evening hours. If you must do midday chores, wash your dishes by hand and let them air dry. After washing clothes, either hang your clothes to dry inside or outside. Doing so will keep the heat at a minimum and allow you to save on your electric bills.
3. Keep Your Curtains Closed
When sunlight hits your home, it usually enters through the slits in your door frame or windows. The latter actually accounts for about 25% of the sunlight that enters your home. Keep your shades closed during the daytime to keep the sunlight out. Using shades, blinds, or curtains can drop indoor temperatures by as much as 20 degrees. As an added bonus, it can save you up to 7% on electricity costs.
4. Consider Blackout Curtains
Blackout curtains are specifically designed to block sunlight out of the room they’re installed in. These curtains are able to lower the heat by up to 33%, which is fairly better than regular shades and blinds. In addition to their superior ability to block sunlight, blackout curtains are also energy-efficient. They can be beneficial for both summer and winter seasons as they trap in the cool or hot air inside.
5. Institute a Closed Doors Policy
Close off any empty rooms in the house to prevent the cool air from filling those spaces during the warm parts of the day. Come nighttime, you can then reopen the doors and windows to let the cool air flow throughout your home.
6. Use Electric Fans
Air conditioners won’t be able to give you that faux ocean breeze, but a bowl of ice cubes in front of a revolving fan can. The fan blasts air through the bowl of ice which becomes chilled. If you don’t have ice cubes, you can use ice packs instead. You can also chill an ice pad overnight and then place it in a bowl in front of the fan.
7. Swap Out Your Bed Covers
Your bed sheets can make your naps either comfortable or even more unbearable, depending on the type of material used. For instance, textiles like fleece are great for insulation during the winter months. But for summertime, you’ll want to swap your sheets out for cotton, linen, or rayon. This also applies to fabrics around your home, such as sofa covers and rugs.
8. Set Your Ceiling Fan to Counter-Clockwise
Most homeowners don’t realize that their ceiling fans can and should be adjusted to fit the season. During summertime, you can adjust the fans to run counter-clockwise at a higher speed. The downward airflow generated by the fan produces a cooling effect.
9. Hack Your Body’s Temperature
While you can do a number of things to lower your home’s indoor temperature, there’s also some comfort to gain from lowering your body’s temperature while indoors. You can sip cold drinks or apply a cold towel to your neck or wrists. You could also be smarter about how you dress. Opt for loose clothing in light colors.
10. Turn Your Ventilator Fans On
Certain rooms of the house have ventilator fans, like your kitchen or bathroom. Switch them on during the hot hours of the day to draw out the hot air from your home. When not in use, clean the ventilator fan blades and the grill by wiping it with a damp cloth or using a brush to remove the accumulated dust. The dust build-up on the grill or blades can interrupt optimal airflow.
11. Swap Out Your Lights
Switching to CFLs, or compact fluorescent lamps can yield significant energy savings. Incandescent lightbulbs dissipate about 90% of the power in the heat they produce. Toss them out and swap them for CFLs. The move not only results in cooler indoor temperatures but also a lower utility bill.
12. Make Long-Term Upgrades
If you plan to run your home without an AC, you can make long-term upgrades that will keep your home cooler for the next several years. Insulated window films are one of the long-term investments that you can get. They function the same way as a blind does. You can also install retractable awnings above your doors or windows. Lastly, try planting trees or vines in areas that receive massive amounts of sunlight. The foliage can help shield your home’s walls and windows from sunlight.
13. Get a Dehumidifier
Parts of Indianapolis can get extremely humid during summertime. The humid air can feel a lot more uncomfortable than dry hot air. A dehumidifier won’t lower your room’s temperatures, but they do pull the moisture out of the air to make the air more bearable.
14. Insulate Your Walls
This tip should probably be higher up the list, considering how helpful it is in maintaining lower temperatures indoors. Insulating your walls and attic is a common technique for dealing with cold winter months, but it can also be adapted for hot summer months. You can add insulation to current walls without having to destroy the drywall. If needed, you can snip holes in the exterior siding and then blow spray foam into the walls.
Consult a Local Expert
Maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures without an AC is indeed possible. However, it involves a lot of work and investing in several devices and fixtures. If you’re looking for energy-efficient dehumidifiers, Peterman Brothers can provide you with high-quality dehumidifiers. If you do decide that AC installation is the best long-term option moving forward, our technicians can install and maintain your AC system. We also offer furnace and plumbing services. Give us a call today to see how we can be of service to you!