5 Overlooked Ways to Cool Down a Hot Room

There's one in every home. Whether it's a finished basement or a converted attic, a west-facing sunroom or a live-in garage, there always seems to be a particular spot in the house where the temperature soars in the summer. While other rooms under the same roof remain perfectly comfortable, the problem area is 10 degrees hotter than everywhere else. To cope, some homeowners simply close off the unbearable room, leaving it mostly unoccupied until the fall. Others resort to noisy, unsightly window air conditioners, even though such appliances can be exorbitantly expensive to run. Looking for a lasting solution you can afford? Click through now to see a range of effective possibilities, from the indirect benefit of shady landscaping to the direct relief of a ductless cooling system.

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  1. Go Ductless


    If you had already ruled out air conditioning, assuming it would cost too much on a monthly basis, it may be time to reconsider your stance. That's because, like so many other technologies, HVAC has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. Some of the latest climate control options boast jaw-dropping energy efficiency. Perhaps most intriguing are the leading-edge ductless systems made by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating (Mitsubishi Electric). Popular in Europe and Asia for decades, ductless systems are streamlined and compact, usually consisting of two main components—an outdoor condenser and an indoor unit. Between the two, technicians simply run a pair of thin refrigerant pipes to complete the installation. Straightforward and nonintrusive, the process usually takes less than a day. Once up and running, Mitsubishi Electric ductless systems run at extraordinarily low cost while providing unparalleled comfort. Their versatility is another virtue that homeowners tend to appreciate. Across the full line of Mitsubishi Electric systems, some outdoor units are capable of accommodating multiple indoor units. That means, in the future, if you wanted to extend the comfort of your ductless system to a new room (or set of rooms), it would be easy to do so—without needing to replace the entire system. This time of year, if any rooms in your home are out of step with the temperature elsewhere, give serious consideration to Mitsubishi Electric.

    Michael Lee

  2. Seek Shade


    Landscaping can do more than boost curb appeal. With thoughtfully chosen, strategically positioned trees and shrubs, you can actually keep your house cooler through the summer. After all, virtually all parts of the home exterior let in heat. To limit the effect, shade the roof with dense-canopied trees, ideally placed on the southern portion of the property. Also, deflect late afternoon sun with short trees, tall shrubs, or planted trelliswork situated along the western exposure.


  3. Install Awnings


    Of course, trees and shrubs can take years to mature. If yours are still too young to lend adequate shade, don't fret: Awnings achieve similar results, and they do so more or less instantly. Sure, not everyone loves the look of awnings, but few would argue against their effectiveness. Installed over a west-facing window, a fabric awning can reduce heat gain by as much as 77 percent! It's a simple concept, really: Block out the harsh sun to enjoy cooler spaces indoors.


  4. Shield Your Windows


    Go even further to reduce solar heat gain by applying reflective, heat-control window film to any windows in the hot room (or, if you choose, throughout the entire house). Made up of multiple UV-blocking layers, insulating window films limit the extent to which the sun's rays can drive up the temperature indoors. Because they're usually self-adhering, applying window film couldn't be easier. The process requires little more than a tape measure and a pair of scissors.


  5. Focus on Fans


    Don't underestimate the humble fan. In low humidity, a strategically placed fan can make you considerably more comfortable. On the sunny side of the house, particularly on upper floors, position fans to blow out toward an open window. On the shady side of the house, particularly on lower floors, do the opposite—orient fans to blow in toward the living spaces. In the summer, set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise so cool air gets drawn up from the floor.


  6. Think Twice


    If there's a room in your house that gets too hot in the summer, chances are that in the winter that same room often gets too cold. That's another reason to give serious consideration to Mitsubishi Electric ductless systems. Here, the same setup you count on for effective and efficient summertime cooling can also provide comfort-giving heat, without driving up your utility bills. Here's how it works: Technically, Mitsubishi Electric ductless systems are two-way heat pumps designed to transfer heat between outdoor and indoor air. In summer, the system collects heat from inside the house, then exhausts it outside. In winter, the technology works in reverse, collecting heat from outside and depositing it inside. No matter the season, a Mitsubishi Electric system continuously monitors the cooling or heating load and automatically adjusts itself accordingly. In this way, Mitsubishi Electric ductless systems manage not to create the uncomfortable temperature variations that characterize so many other heating and cooling appliances. Indeed, with Mitsubishi Electric, the temperature you set is the temperature you get—always.

    Michael Lee

  7. For More...


    For more about HVAC, consider: 

    Ditch the Ducts: Choose Ductless HVAC for Savings and Comfort

    Next-Generation Ductless HVAC Brings Home Total Comfort

    7 Simple Ways to Cut Your Home Cooling Costs

    This content has been brought to you by Mitsubishi Electric. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

    Mike Crews Photography

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