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  • Annette Ermini

Cooling Tips for Your Home

When it’s a heat wave, it’s hot everywhere. Hot is hot!

But there are strategies you can use to conserve resources in cooling your home. I learned one of the best tips from my friend, who learned it from the school custodian where she teaches high school English. It’s simple, classic, and withstands the test of time—before the days of centralized AC!

Early in the day, close all the doors and windows tightly, including storm windows. Draw all the curtains and shades closed, keeping the rooms dark—this will block the sun and heat from entering the space. Insulated shades and curtains help even further. Close blinds with slats angling upwards to best reflect the heat and light, as well.

At nighttime, reopen the doors and windows, and run window fans to allow the cool air to enter and circulate in the house. Ceiling fans also are very effective for cooling.

Repeat this routine until the heat wave has dissipated. You will be amazed how well this works while also reducing your energy costs and carbon footprint.

Another option is to run air conditioners in select rooms, as needed, closing off rooms to conserve energy. Run only when heat is oppressive and unbearable and when you are actually spending time in the space.

Deciduous tree plantings—those that shed its leaves each year—are also helpful, providing shade in the summer and heat in the winter. Plantings are best where exposure is strongest, usually the south side of a property.

Dark house colors and roofs matter—choose wisely! If you have a black or dark colored roof, this will warm your home significantly.

Insulate and eliminate drafts everywhere you can. This will bring so much comfort to you and your family throughout the year.

Lastly, prepare meals that do not require the use of your oven and minimize the use of your dryer to further reduce heat in your home.

Ceiling fans help cool your home with effectiveness and energy efficiency.

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