Ceiling fans can be your best friend come summer, but make sure they are set to run in a counter-clockwise direction; this allows them to draw cooler air up from the floor. At night, try positioning a box fan in an open window to pull in the cooler air from the outdoors.
Cook Al Fresco
Cooking dinner over a hot oven heats up more than the chef—it warms up the home as well. Keep your house cooler by doing more of your summer cooking on an outdoor grill, or opting for cold salads and sandwiches. If you must use the stove, run the ventilator hood fan to draw the hot air out of the house.
Keep 'Em Closed
When the sun's rays pour in through windows and doors they can contribute to an overheated home. Keep curtains and blinds drawn during the daytime to block heat generating sunlight. Then when night falls, open the windows to allow cooler nighttime air to enter the house.
A simple do-it-yourself air conditioner can help keep you cool: simply place a bag of ice in a metal bowl, then position a fan to blow over the ice. For an even more elaborate set up, consider a homemade A/C unit like this one.
Use Nature’s Coolers
Planting trees in the yard goes a long way to keeping your home cool during the summer. Leafy deciduous trees provide shade during summer, but let in light during the winter once their leaves drop. If trees aren’t an option, consider installing awnings over the sunniest side of the house.
Related: 6 Fast-Growing Shade Trees
Eliminate Heat Sources
Chances are that you can do without some of the heat-producing equipment in your household. Unplug chargers when not in use, as these can draw additional heat into the home through electrical sockets. Replace incandescent light bulbs with cooler (and more efficient) CFL or LED lights. If you normally park the car in the garage, leave it outside in the driveway for an hour or two until the engine cools off.
If there's anything worse than a hot house, it's a hot and stuffy house. Consider installing a screen door over the front or rear exits. Then, open your door in the early morning and after dusk when the weather is at its coolest to air fresh air into your home.
Related: 10 "Really Cool" Cooling Fans
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